Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's Old is New Challenge Finished!

I've finally finished my What's Old is New Challenge piece. I haven't decided on a name for it, but I'm thinking of "Ravishing Ruby".

As I told you in a previous post, I've had to make several revisions on my original design due to underestimating the amount of the light bronze size 11 Tohos, but I'm pleased with the over-all look of the finished design.
The drop is made from a 15mm glass pearl capped on each end with fine filigree bead caps. This is the main part of the what's old.  I've place a twisted antique gold spacer and an 8mm glass pearl above and below the 15mm pearl, and attached the dangle to the center beaded bead with size 11 light bronze Toho beads.

The center beaded bead is formed from 4mm Swarovski Light Siam Xillion bicones, 3mm Swarovski glass pearls and size 11 light bronze Tohos.

The red beaded discs are made from the same beads as the main focal bead, but in a different configuration.  The white discs are made of 3mm Swarovski pearls and light bronze Tohos.  All these components are put together with Russian netting ropes made with size 15 silver lined seed beads and the Tohos and the same antique gold twisted spacers as I used in the drop.

To finish it I attached short pieces of chain from the original necklace to the rope with the bronze beads and the other end is attached to the antique gold KeepSake clasp with a gold jump ring.

This is the first time I've used Toho beads.  I've heard many claims of their quality and uniformity.  I'm very pleased to say that I was not a bit disappointed.  Their quality and uniformity is all I've heard they were and they were great to work with.

Swarovski components are one of my favorite bead types as I'm sure all of you who read my blog know.  I haven't seen a Swarovski bead or component yet that disappointed me.  I usually use the crystal AB bicone or colored AB, but the light Siam bicones without the AB coating are as spectacular as anyone could expect from a bead.

The KeepSake clasp is a sturdy toggle and ring but very delicate looking and the scroll decorations on it are beautiful.

ArtBeads sends beads free of charge to be used in challenges and projects from time to time and ask only for my honest evaluation.  I am not paid to blog about these supplies.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Random News

Good Monday morning.  I hope all of you who celebrate Easter had a wonderful weekend.  In spite of the cloudy windy weather it was a nice day for me.

As I don't have any news to report on my own beading (you don't want to hear my foibles, fumbles and frog stitch stories which are all I have at the moment) I thought I'd share a few things going on in the beading world.

Learn to Bead announced workshops by Huib Petersen sponsored by Be Dazzled Beads and The Center for Beadwork and Jewelry Arts in Nashvile, Tennessee on May 20 through 22.  If you're in that area it will be well worth your time.  Huib Petersen is one of the most innovative beaders of our time.

Bouncing Wolf deviated from beading to share her peanut butter eggs with her readers.

Inspirational Beading shared Easter Egg bracelet, made in tubular herringbone with graduated bead sizes. This is a technique I tried once way back when I was learning to bead.  I didn't have enough experience beading to get this technique down just from internet instructions, but I think in the near future I'll try it again.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Make it For Mom Challenge

Make it for Mom ChallengeI got this e mail from Duchess Erickson at today.

I'm excited to tell you that we have just launched our latest jewelry design contest at Artbeads! The Make it for Mom Challenge is all about creating that perfect design for Mom and having some fun too. The winner of this jewelry design contest will receive a $250 Gift Card and their winning design will also be featured in the Artbeads Learning Center. All design submissions must contain at least 50% products available at the website. Contestants must be 18 or older to enter and this contest is open to entrants worldwide. The winner will be determined by a public vote on Facebook starting at midnight (Pacific Time) on Mother’s Day. Make sure to submit a design yourself and tell all your beading friends, family and blog readers to enter this fun design challenge!

Make it for Mom Challenge

Artbeads is also having a special 15% off sale for your purchase of materials to make your challenge.  Just enter coupon code ZZ-MOM15 at checkout to take advantage of these fantastic savings. Hurry, this sale ends on Saturday, April 23, 2011
Make it for Mom Sale

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Challenge Update

My What's Old is New Again challenge is becoming more of a challenge than I care to admit.

I discovered I had seriously underestimated the number of bronze seed beads I'd need, so I changed from a peyote rope to a Russian netting rope. I soon found the black size 15 seed beads didn't go with all the red and pearl of the focals, so I found some silver lined red size 15's in my stash and used those.

When I strung the finished pieces together I discovered the netting hadn't made a firm enough rope to hold its shape.

I think the overall design will still work, but I have to go back and either rework all the rope pieces or reinforce what I've made so far.

In spite of the set backs, I'm still pretty pleased with the over all design, and hope to have it finished by next week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Fling Special Savings at Bead Patterns Boutique

Hello to all our beading friends!

Spring has sprung at the Boutique. New patterns are springing up in every category. The spring colors are in full bloom. So why not stop by and have a look?

This weekend through Monday, you can save 15% site-wide on any and all patterns at the Just add them to your cart and enter the code BPBSave during check out. The discount will be deducted from your total when you click apply. Don't forget to register as a member! All shoppers at receive a credit of 2% of their purchase that can be applied to future orders. This cash back never expires & has no waiting periods or restrictions.

While your in town, don't forget to stop by the all new Shop Directory! Now it's easier than ever to browse through your favorite Designer's work.

The Spring Fling Special Savings is available Saturday, April 16 through Monday April 18. So don't delay. Save some green today!

Click here to shop now!

Marie Starr
& The BPB Design Team

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another Hexagon Angle Weave Pattern

OK I admit it. I'm obsessed with hexagon angle weave. . . for now anyway. It seems every time I look at the blank graph or even a pattern I've already made, I see a new design.

This is my latest. Spring Meadow. When my daughter visited me in March, she brought me 17 colors of seed beads, plus a lot of other beads from Istanbul. The seed beads aren't standard size 11 that I'm used to working with, but they do seem to be approximately size 10. They are very irregular and I thought they would work well for this design because, after all, nature isn't uniform. The colors and finishes intrigued me.  They aren't what I usually find here in the United States.  I chose 4 colors from what she brought me that I thought would represent the vibrance of new life in the spring. My camera doesn't do their beauty justice, but making the bracelet lifted my spirits considerably.

The pattern is available at BeadPatternsBoutique and The Bead Coop.

Now back to working on my What's Old is New Again challenge.  I've made one more component, am rethinking the pearl cube, and have worked about one more inch in the spiral rope.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bits 'n' Pieces

. . .of my What's Old is New Again challenge. As I mentioned I had some ideas that I started with.  I've been busy making components, taking them out, correcting the "oops that didn't look like I thought it would's".  Sometimes I wish I could get a clear picture in my head of what something would look like.  It would save time, but I'm a doodler and enjoy the journey as much as seeing the finished project.

Of course this isn't all I've been doing.  I have several things going at once, as usual. I can switch out and not go on auto pilot and mess things up that way.

I'm working on another hexagon angle weave pattern. The graph looked pretty straight forward, but after I got the written instructions done and started working the project, I found mistakes, so I'm correcting those as I go along. I hope to have that finished and ready to show by the first of next week.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time to Brag

I guess the powers that be knew I needed a spirit lifter. On Monday my Arana (that's supposed to have a tilde over the n) beaded collar was featured in not one, but two, ArtFire collections. The WoW Factorby FluenteDesigns, and Seed Bead Mastersby bloomingvinedesigns.
This is one of the very few items in my ArtFire Shop that is not my design.

I had read of Saraguro beadweaving and set out to learn their technique by making up items from patterns by others.  This pattern is by Kathy Lightner and Alice Korach.

This morning I woke up to still another collection featuring my work.Invited to the Royal Wedding? Go Vintage part 2 by Jansart featured my Daisy Eyelet Earrings.  This design was a collaboration between my oldest daughter, Wendy Corley of Bohemian Heart, and I.  She had made jewelry similar to this for my youngest daughter's wedding, but she doesn't make patterns.  She agreed to let me make a pattern similar to her design to share with the world. . .but, of course, it isn't exactly like the original.

You can find the patterns for Daisy Eyelet Earrings and Necklace at BeadPatternsBoutique.  The patterns are available individually or as a set.

Thank you FluenteDesigns, bloomingvinedesigns and Jansart for making this a very special week for me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sneak Peek

I have a sneak preview for you today. I received the beads from Artbeads for my What's old is new again" challenge.
At the top left are 3mm Swarovski Pearls and next to them are Light Siam Swarovski Xillion bicones. In the next row are light bronze Toho size 11 seed beads and matte black size 15 Delicas. Below that is an antique gold Keepsake clasp set.

On the right you see my "old". Two each vintage 15mm glass pearls, gold toned filigree bead caps and gold toned metal 7mm beads from a necklace that has been in my jewelry box for over 30 years and I don't know how long my mother had it before that.  I'm not sure if I'll use all the vintage beads or not.  I have several configurations in mind.

ArtBeads never ceases to amaze me with their speedy delivery. I received e mail confirmation that my order had shipped on Monday and I got it today, Wednesday. From Washington state to Texas that's fast.

I'll keep you posted on progress, but I won't give too much away till it's finished.


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