Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Pattern- Hearts 'n Clubs

I'm working on a new pattern called Hearts 'n Clubs.  Even though my "clubs" look more like stubby li'l Phoenixs I'm keeping the name.  I've worked a ring with silver lined fuchsia and black size 11 delicas and size 15 gold seed beads. I've also worked one earring with the same color delicas and light lined topaz delicas.  I started a bracelet with silver lined orange, turquois, yellow and metallic olive delicas, but the color combination made me shudder so I took out the yellow, substituted fuchsia and black for the orange and turquoise. And outlined it in gold.

The size 15 gold beads give the ring a tighter, more stable feel and as you
can see there's just a slight hint of texture.  It cups gently and the hearts and clubs are slightly raised.

I'm working on drawing the illustrations for putting the band on the ring, and the connecting loop on the earrings.

The pattern will include the 4 bead connector bar that will allow for repeating the design to make a bracelet or strap any length desired.  I hope to have it ready for sale before the weekend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Art Beads 10th Anniversary Sales

All you bead lovers, check this out. Art Beadsis celebrating their 10th anniversary all year long! They will have weekly specials at huge discounts.
This week's sale is just getting started and will run until April 29th. Check out their seed beads, Swarovski Crystals, Gift Bags, and Clasps.

There are some really great deals here!

On a personal note: You gotta love West Texas weather. We've had thunder storms, flooding rains, tornado warnings etc. for two days now. Today the wind is blowing about 40 mph and the sky is red with. . . DUST! On the bright side, no mudslides, earthquakes or erupting volcanoes, so we're in good shape.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Puff Bezel How-To

 Way back in October last year I told you I'd published a how to on making a Puff Bezel, but e How dropped it into cyber space.

I finally found another venue for writing how to articles and have successfully published the tutorial on FireHow.com.

If you're interested in knowing how to work this bezel around these Swarovski rivolis take a look.  When you've made your own bezel I'd like to see your work.  any photos or comments will be welcome.  Send photos to thebeaddoodler@live.com. I'll publish them here on my blog.  If you have a website or blog include the URL with your photo and I'll link to it.   Leave comments here on my blog.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

May Challenge May Flowers

I've finally finished my May Challenge for the About.com beadwork forum.

The theme was April Showers Bring May Flowers.  I love figuring out ways to bead flowers, so I started these little beauties with circular herringbone, then finished off the edges with netting.

Coraling or Russian fringe with aventurine "leaves" and amethyst "buds" form a backdrop for this tiny nosegay.  There's a beaded bail at the top so it can be worn as a pendant and the bail is also accented with aventurine and amethyst chips.

If you'd like to take the challenge you have until April 30th to get your entry in.  There's no prize, just getting your work put up in the gallery, but accepting challenges always sparks my creativity.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

May Challenges

I'm working hard to get all my May challenges done early. I go in to have a cataract removed from my right eye on May 4th and I don't know how long it will be before I will be able to see well enough to bead or even to read. I've lost about 40% of the vision in my left eye to glaucoma, so I won't have the advantage of a "good" eye to fall back on like I did when I had the cataract removed from the left eye in September.

The May challenge at about.com/beadwork is "April Shower Bring May Flowers", so anything to do with flowers, rain or spring is in. I've completed the little flowers for a nosegay and am in the process of making some coraling fringe to add to it.

If you're interested in taking this challenge, head on over to About.com/beadwork, join the forum and enter your May flowers related beadwork.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bead Quilling

Since Bead and Button Magazine featured Kathy King's "Bead Quilling" designs in June 2008, learning bead quilling has been on my to do list. Two years is a long time to leave a project on the back burner for most people, but for me it's common.

Bead Quilled JewelryToday as I was doing some research I came a cross a new book by Kathy King "Bead Quilled Jewelry"  The pictures on the cover have started my creative juices flowing.  I think of quilling as being flowing curves and circles and arcs, but these V shapes are very intriguing!

Now my mind's going in a dozen different directions.  Do I finish up that pattern I've been working on and get it uploaded,  sort through pictures and update my Etsy shop,  finish the bead challenge I'm working on. . . well you get the picture.  When I get this way I usually go work in the yard, but the wind's blowing too hard today.  I'll have to make a decision and get busy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Etsy Shop

I've let my Etsy shop go lately.  Remaining listings were allowed to expire. I went in yesterday and did a little revamping and rearranging.  Now I've got to get busy and take some suitable pictures of recent work in order to get them put into my shop.

Hopefully the clouds will stay away a few days.  I can get better pictures even in the house if the sun is shining.

Creating Lampwork Beads for JewelryI've been thinking about making my own beads.  I've considered polymer clay, lampwork, and art clay.  Karen Leonardo has a wonderful book "Creating Lampwork Beads for Jewelry".  It's full of very clear, detailed pictures showing how to set up your studio, your workbench and your torches, and includes a complete list of tools you need complete with pictures.

It covers from beginner to advanced bead making, and everything is spelled out and illustrated completely.  It all looks so very enticing, but then I think about working with a torch and know I've got to prepare my mind a little more before I step into a realm that much different from my present one.  Perhaps Polymer clay would be the best place to start.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Swirling Eddy Bracelet and Earring Set

I've finally finished the Swirling Eddy Bracelet and Earrings.  I've uploaded the bracelet pattern to The Bead Coop and to BeadPatternsBoutique.
The Earring pattern is almost ready.  Surprising how long it takes me to pull it into a PDF creator and add headers and footers. 

For this set, I've made the bracelet in peyote and the earrings in brick.  Peyote gives a soft, flexible, slinky feel to the bracelet, while brick stitch not only makes increasing and decreasing easier, but forms a much more sturdy fabric for the earrings.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Cleaning

It's time to clear my bead table once again.  I have all my beads stored in plastic four drawer units, but they can get really messy if I don't keep on top of the organization.  That would be a chore for me even without the "help" of my grand daughter.  She does so love Nana's beads.  I have several different sizes in one drawer because I don't have very many of each size.  She likes to take them out and "sort" them according to color. Not a bad idea but each size is in a different size tube, so they don't exactly fit in the drawer when she's through.  LOL.  Grand children are our crowning glory in our old age, but they can be trying at times.

Deluxe Spinning Beaders Carousel I've been looking for storage that takes up less table top room and found this Deluxe Spinning Beaders Carousel by New Phase Inc.  But it only has 60 containers.  It takes up 10" of table top space.

144 PCS GLASS TOP ALUMINUM CONTAINERS IN GLASS TOP WOODEN STORAGE BOX for CRAFTERSThen I found this 144 Piece Glass  Top Aluminum and Wood Unit by Hawk that only takes up 1 1/2 inch of table top space. Price sounds a little prohibitive, so it may be something I want to look into later, but I really like the size and shape of it.  It would be ideal for delicas or other small beads.

I guess I'd better get back to the bead mat.  I've nearly got the Swirling Eddy earrings finished.  Then it's just a matter of tweaking the pattern a little before publishing.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Things in the Works

Well, somebody's finally done it!  I found the book "Jewelry Making and Beading For Dummies" by Heather Dismore and Tammy Powley.  I don't know about you, but I'm such a dinosaur that when I first got a computer I had lots of "For Dummies" books because they were written so simply but had such detail that I could learn computer and many software programs much more easily than I could in a class room.

I haven't purchased this book yet, but you can see some sample pages at Amazon.com by clicking on the link above.  It looks like it covers every type of jewelry making available, plus descriptions and explanations of supplies. 

The weather has finally warmed up here on the high plains of Texas, but the wind is blowing at least 20 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.  Definitely spring in Texas.  I have a few dandelion blooms dotting the property, but I don't know if I'm going to have enough to make dande syrup this year or not.  The thyme and rosemary are ready for the first harvest, so I need to get busy in the yard.  Don't worry, I'm not abandoning beading.

I have two new patterns coming up soon.   Summer Rain Storm is shown above. I've been trying to make a pattern for the toggle ring I made but even though I have the number of beads on paper that I have in the ring, it isn't working, so I've got to sit down and make another one and draw it row by row as I work it. The other is bracelet and earrings called Swirling Eddy.  I have the bracelet finished, but I have to wait for the sun to get in just the right spot to shine just the right light through my living room curtains to capture the iridescence and the contrasts in it with a camera.  I'm working on the second earring.  Hopefully I'll have those patterns both ready by the end of the week.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Deluxe Jewelry Pliers Revue

When I first started beading, I wanted to do the beautiful wire wrapping I'd seen on several sites, so I bought some inexpensive wire and some inexpensive little pliers that I'd found for .99 at Harbor Freight.  I was so discouraged by the hand fatigue and the inability to make the wire do what I wanted it to that I gave up on any type of beadwork or jewelry making that didn't involve needle and thread.

Recently I've decided to try some of the newer ergonomic pliers and beadworking tools.  I've found that it's not just that I'm a natural born klutz.  Tools do make a big difference in the results of your work.

Beadsmith Deluxe Jewelry Pliers Ergonomic Tool Kit 9 Piece w/ Case
Beadsmith makes a deluxe set of ergonomic tools for jewelry making. The set includes 9 pieces:
1 Pair of Chain Nose Pliers
1 Pair of Round Nose Pliers
1 Pair of Side Cutters
1 Nylon Jaw Flat Nose Plier (these are great.  They leave no marks on your wire.)
1 Crimping Plier
1 Fine Point Knot Cutter for silk and other fabric.
1 Pair of Knotting Tweezers
1 Split Ring Tweezer
1 ScoopEEZ handy scoop for scooping up beads and pouring them into a container

All these goodies come in a black faux leather zipper case so you can keep them all organized and at your fingertips.

The handles on the pliers are smaller and more ergonomically shaped than ordinary pliers, and they are all padded making them much more comfortable to use for long periods of time.

I'm really impressed with the funcionality and comfort of these tools.  Try them.  I'll bet you'll like them too.


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