Sunday, December 27, 2015

Joining the New Stress Relieve Rage

I decided to take a stab at coloring again. I haven't colored in many many years, but all the hoopla I've been seeing on facebook prompted me to download some free pages and just see if it was as therapeutic as everyone claimed.

The past 10 or so years, I have rarely used a pen or pencil. Everything was done on the computer. After I retired 8 years ago I wrote nothing in longhand except a grocery list (which I had trouble reading). It had gotten to the point holding a writing utensil was awkward and my hand would cramp in a very short time. I doubted I'd be able to color, but I had some colored pencils that I'd bought for my granddaughter five or six years ago and with the free pages trying wouldn't cost me anything.  

It wasn't long before I discovered that my fingers were much more limber and what hindered coloring more than anything was my eyes would get tired, but it was relaxing and I wasn't stressing as much over the trials of retired life.

As I was looking through some of the pages I'd downloaded, I did a double take when I realized, at least one of them was made with the kaleidoscope effect in a photo shop program.

I'd made a few snowflake brushes, so I had an idea of how the effect worked. I decided I'd try making my own coloring pages. I've spent most of the morning squiggling and adjusting and have found it just as relaxing as coloring. The picture shows four of the designs I've created and I'm getting a much better idea of how to make the initial "squiggle".

While I'm more at ease at the computer, I still need to keep coloring so I wan't forget how to hold a pencil.

I hope all of you are enjoying the holidays and are not in the path of these winter storms.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Flat Chenille Stitch

I had mentioned in a previous post the similarities between Pondo (African Circle stitch) and Chenille stitch.  Jean Powers posted a basic tutorial by Diana Balogh in Beading Daily.  It looked fairly simple except some of the turns were a bit complex. I spent several hours trying to bead the sample on the left from that tutorial and kept getting lost on the turns.  My solution, of course, was to make my own illustrations, breaking down the parts that confused me into different steps. 

While I was at it, my muse plunked some designs into my head so I made some graphs of those.  The heart on the right is the result of one of those.  I can't tell if the slight irregularity is a result of uneven tension (I know I got the start row too tight) or if the beads aren't as uniform as the yellow ones on the left.  I suspect it's a little of both.

Now that I've got the illustrations drawn and have sort of mastered the stitch, I hope to have an illustrated tutorial posted to my Hub Pages within the week.  Writing the accompanying article will be the hard part.

Wow! The year's nearly over.  Christmas this weekend.  I hope all of you stay safe on the highway if you're traveling, and that you have a very Merry Christmas. . .or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How Do You Make an Oval Round?

Well, I really don't know. I guess you just follow your muse and let her do what she wants with the beads.

I showed you my partially bezeled flat oval bead in my Monday Ramble. I've now finished both sides and as I had thought, there's not much of the bead showing on the second side. What really blew me away was the shape. Yes, this is two sides of the same bead/cab. 

Maybe I'll come up with a really cool bail for it soon, but right now my eyes are very tired of looking at those transparent peridot superduos (which are almost invisible on side 2) and tiny, shiny, size 15 gold beads, so I'm going to lay this aside for a while.

Organizing the office and learning flat Chenille stitch are the next things on the docket.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Another Monday Ramble

From the first nasty winter cold spell/storm until the trees begin to leaf out in the spring, it seems that I go through what I call my winter blues.  It's a mild depression that saps my energy, inspiration and motivation to do anything other than what's necessary to stay alive.

I've attributed it to the weather, but really we don't have long stretches of bad weather or cloudy skies, so I reasoned that can't be the entire cause.

I was thinking this morning and once again remembered my ex-husband's parents both died during the month of December.  I loved them dearly and they were two of the best friends I ever had. BUT
December also is the month of joyous celebrations. There's Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and it is also the month one of my Daughters-in-law, who has been a wonderful addition to our family, was born and to top it off, it's the month she was born into our family when she married my son. 

My mother passed away during the month of January that is also the month she gave birth to me and my youngest daughter gave birth to her daughter.  It's also the beginning of a new year and we all look forward with hope to the coming year being better than the year before.

I'm writing this as a reminder to myself that during these months that usually bring me down I must look for the positive side of things.  I don't know how well it will work, but this is me fighting for normalcy.

On another note, I promised myself that when I finished making Christmas ornaments I would clear up and organize my bead space. So much for promises. In the initial phase of clean-up, wouldn't you know, I found a large 25mm X 30mm X 2mm bead. I thought "I should bezel that using some superduo beads".  Since it's flat it can be reversible and the two sides can be different. As you can see in the picture, one side seems to be fine, but the other side isn't going as I'd hoped. By the time I get it cinched in there won't be much of the bead showing, but I haven't given up yet.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015 Christmas Ornaments

I've finally finished this year's Christmas ornaments. Unlike past years, I only designed one new one this year. 

The Holly Wreath ornament is this year's new ornament and it will be on sale the rest of this month at my BeadPatternsBoutique shop. Check out my On Sale now category for it and other designs in my Shuffle Sale.

The Drum, Christmas Angel and Twin Snowflake are all from previous years. I've modified each angel and snowflake by changing colors here and there, so they all look a little different from the pattern (because I'm averse to doing the same thing twice).

My granddaughter will be hosting Thanksgiving this year. I hope it's a great success. I love family gatherings, but I'm reluctant to host them. I get exhausted just attending.

Now on to tedious everyday happenings.  It's time to start learning the flat chenille stitch I mentioned in my last blog. , , and then there's the matter of keeping my vehicle running. I've been saying for a year if I have to put it in the shop one more time I'm just going to get rid of it.  Maybe it's time to make good on that threat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Which Stitch?

As you may know from my previous blogs, I'm obsessed with learning bead stitches.  Keeps things from getting dull, don't you think?

I first learned Pondo stitch as the modern modified stitch also known as African Circle Stitch. When I finally mastered it I went to work creating designs.  Pondo Ripples was my first design. Independence day was coming up, so I made it in red white and blue, but it works up nicely in any combination of colors you desire. 

You can find the pattern for Pondo Ripples on sale now in my BeadPatternsBoutique Shuffle sale.

Delft Blue Tile is the same stitch. As with any other stitch, the color placement creates the design.

When I first started learning this stitch someone mentioned that it looked like Chenille stitch.  I love tubular chenille for ropes but have never been able to figure out how to make the turn on flat chenille.

Recently, Jean Cox of Beading Daily posted instructions for flat chenille stitch. It is much more straight-forward that African Circle stitch and looks so nearly like it, you'd have to examine it closely to see it's different.  You'll need to scroll down a bit to get to the tutorial.

That,s my next stitch to learn. . .after I finish Christmas Ornaments. Only one more drum and one snowflake and I'll be finished!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Shuffle Sale

I decided to try to breath some life into my pattern shop at BPB in November. I have a lot of older patterns that don't get much attention, so I've compiled a list of patterns that did well when first published, patterns that never received much attention, my all time best sellers, and some new patterns. I'm calling this a shuffle sale because the items will change at random times during the month.

There are 21 items on the list. All items listed will be marked down bu 10%.There are five categories: bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and Christmas ornaments. There will be five items on sale at all times, (one from each category) but I may change one, two or all of them on any given day. The patterns will cycle through the sale at random and may reappear at some point during the sale. You'll never know how long any given item will be on sale, or when/whether it will reappear, so bookmark my On Sale category of my catalog and check it often.

You'll find there are various bead stitches and the complexity of the patterns go from simple to a little more time consuming.  Great items for gifts, ornaments or something special for yourself! 

The pattern for the ring shown is on sale as I write this. There are variations to the ring that change its shape, so it's almost like getting 3 patterns in one.

I made this pattern shortly after I wrote my blog post on the comparison between twin beads and super duo beads. I decided to try mixing the two brands of beads, and found that they could be used together if the twins were culled very well. 

Don't forget to bookmark my BeadPatternsBoutiaque On Sale Now page and check often for new listings. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Ramble

My Christmas ornament beading has temporarily come to a halt. Due to problems with hand-eye coordination, depth perception and other frustrations, I put the beadwork aside for a day or so.

I decided to try a little crochet instead. I found a beautiful pattern and a small scrap of sport weight yarn and attempted to make a swatch of the pattern.

I ran into a few problems. The first one: I haven't crocheted in so long I'm not able to hold the thread properly to maintain steady tension, so my stitches aren't even. With practice, I'm getting better and holding the work is becoming more natural. The second problem is: although I've been crocheting for 70 years and reading word patterns since I learned to read, I've never crocheted from a computer generated diagram. The pattern didn't come with a symbol legend and some of the symbols were unclear to me.

I went so far as to download a free crochet stitch program in order to find and decipher the symbols. I'm not too old to learn. No, I'll probably never make crochet patterns with it, but it was a great help.

I discovered that although bead weaving and crochet are both needlework, they each require different hand muscles, different ways to hold the project and a different approach to deciphering the pattern.  I feel that I need to go back to some of the handwork I grew up doing in order to keep my brain, and consequently my hand-eye coordination from deteriorating any further.

Now it's time to get back to the Christmas ornaments. Second angel is in the works. One more angel, three drums and one snowflake to go.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Christmas Ornaments 2015

I've finished 10 of the 17 Christmas ornaments I need to make this year. Five wreaths and five twin snowflakes. 
I made the wreaths first then the snowflakes.  On the fourth snowflake, I noticed that all of them had a stained glass effect due to matte transparent, transparent and opaque beads being used in each ornament.  It wasn't planned at all. I was sifting through my bead stash and that's just how things came up. Since nine of them were stained glass, I deliberately made the tenth one the same way. 

Now I have to decide which ornaments to make for the youngest group.  I haven't come up with any inspiration for that type of ornaments yet this year, so I'll have to choose from the 2009 collection or the 2010 collection. I need to go back through my notes and see who has what.

Everyone thought I was stressing over nothing when I was having such a hard time getting the wreath pattern to work, but what they didn't understand is how slow I am at brick stitch, so the last phase of ornaments not only contains more ornaments than the first two, but it will take me longer.  I just have to keep calm and breathe.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Exploring Other Needlework Crafts

This weekend I just couldn't stay focused on beading and getting Christmas ornaments finished.  
First I found a free kindle book on Tunisian Crochet.  This is a stitch I learned as a girl known only to me as afghan stitch and I only learned the single and double crochet version.  I never thought of it as  crochet that could have various stitches just like regular crochet until I started looking through that book.
I did some research on the internet and came up with this site, Tunisian Crochet by Stitch Diva. I then remembered that I'd seen beaded Tunisian crochet and started looking for pictures.  I found several, but they weren't free to copy. I finally found a pattern for the necklace above.
Not a complicated pattern but I thought about trying it. Then I remembered you have to string the beads onto the crochet thread first. . .not my forte so I gave that up. 
Next I found an adult coloring book for free and downloaded it.  

I've spent Sunday and Monday telling myself to put the colored pencils down and get back to beading.  When I've finished the 17 ornaments for this year, maybe I'll get back to learning the intricacies of Tunisian crochet. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Look Back

I've had quite a bit of trouble getting on a schedule, communicating and creating for a long while now (ever since my first cataract surgery).  Lately, I've been pretty depressed thinking about my current productivity, so I decided to take a look back to see what I've accomplished. 

The picture above is of a bracelet made two years ago with Pondo (African Circle Stitch) and is a new stitch I'd just learned.  Learning new things usually keeps me going as I get bored and my inspiration lags continually using a stitch I'm familiar with.

Not long after that, as stated in the post linked above, I learned Authentic African Pondo. This is a much simpler stitch, but challenging and new to me, never the less.

Going back through my previous blogs and social media posts has shown me that I've slowed down but have still accomplished something worthwhile. 

Both of these patterns are available in my Craftsy Store, along with many other patterns featuring a wide variety of stitches.

Monday, September 28, 2015

On to New Things

I've had to put the tutorial for Mirror Mirror on hold. Either the design will need to be simplified, or my illustrating skills will have to improve before I can finish it.

It's time to start Christmas ornaments. Those of you who know me know I make beaded ornaments for the younger ones of the three generations that come after me.  This year there are a total of 17.  I'll try to get the five youngest ones a brick stitch "toy" made, the next age group will get a beaded star I think and the oldest five will get my new Holly Wreath.

This is a 3-D design, quite sturdy and very "blingy".  After struggling with my last design for a whole frustrating month, I was delighted with the ease with which this one came together. Only took me a week and a half, most of which was spent on the tutorial.

The pattern has been uploaded to all three of my pattern shops. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lebre Office

YaHOO!  I'm excited! This morning I was looking for a user forum for Open Office.  I wanted to be able to change the default line color. In the latest update of Open Office the default line color had been changed from black to gray. It got really tedious having to change the line color of each little line I drew as a thread path.  It HAD to be changed. I couldn't see it and thought if I couldn't see it my customers couldn't either. And of course, I couldn't be sure it went where I wanted it to.

Right under the search results for Open Office official site was an article on why you should ditch Open Office for Libre Office. I thought I could always delete it if it wasn't any better than Open Office, so I downloaded it.

YAY! Default line color is black, it has the ability to rotate an object to any orientation I want without having to guess at the angle degree, AND it will open all my Open Office files!!

So far I'm one happy illustrator. It'll only help with the line color in the tutorial I'm working on right now, but this is going to be much less frustrating!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Musings

This morning while surfing for inspiration and eye candy. I came across this beaded bead by Gwen Fisher.

I've been a fan of Gwen's for many years and envy her ability to use mathematics as a base for her many beaded beads. 

This tutorial isn't a free one, but it's worth the small price as it includes some variations to the basic bead.

On another note, I haven't given up on the Mirror Mirror tutorial. This time it isn't just ripping out what I've beaded, it's erasing two whole rounds of embellishments on the tutorial. Strange how I could draw two rounds without noticing the discrepancy. However on the third round I found that there was a gap between the start bead and the last one. 

Well, OK then. That had me scratching my head and thinking the sore shoulders and back from sitting too long at the computer were all in vain, but upon careful inspection I discovered I hadn't done a very good job of rendering a 3-D drawing of the bead. Perspective was a little off, so I'm starting over on the 12 or 16 illustrations.  I think the second time around will be easier. . .I hope.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mirror Mirror Update

Mirror Mirror tutorial is coming along slowly.  I've tried to do a step by step pictorial, but found that when I got to the embellishment part I just couldn't get a good tight shot and it was confusing to me. What would it be to a customer?  So I did a little rethinking about illustrating and came up with a way to illustrate it, but it's taking a long time.  

I'll have to add pictures of the finished round at intervals, but I think it will be comprehensible when I finish.

I thought seriously about getting a "bamboo pen" type stylus for drawing the thread path, but from what I can gather, they only work on a computer with an interactive screen. I have an old, refurbished laptop. 

In the meantime, here's a free tutorial from Mikki Ferrugiaro. Crystal Corners features tila beads and crystals. It's a versatile design that can be used in many ways, only limited by your imagination.

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's Monday. . .Again

Where did the week go?  Today's been a relatively productive day in spite of everything.  I've finished mowing the yard and worked on Mirror Mirror a little bit.

I gave up on illustrating the tutorial and took step by step pictures to make a pictorial.  I spend most of the morning editing the pictures for the first seven steps and finishing up the peyote on the second side of the pearl.

I'd bragged about not doing so much frog stitch on this project. Bragged too soon.  When I got to the next round I found the two rounds before it wouldn't work.  There just wasn't anywhere to go from there.  It's frustrating, but I like it so much I won't be giving up yet.

I've abandoned the purple and gold one in spite of the fact the colors are my favorite.  It's so sparkly and shiny I can't see it. Maybe by the next post I'll have a finished piece to show you.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Still not a great picture, but I'm making progress. The last row I've worked needs some tweaking, but you can see the Czech beads give a whole different look from the Japanese ones.  Both colors of the size 15's are Japanese beads.  I still need a round or two or maybe even three.  I'm getting slower and slower, but on this one I'm not ripping out as much as I have on some of my more recent ones. 

Yard work and a back that doesn't want to hold me upright in a chair for very long are slowing down my beading and tutorial making, but I'm very thankful to still be somewhat productive.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sneak Preview

Here's a sneak preview of what I'm working on. . .third or fourth try. Yes, it's purple, same as my last project.  

The potential name is Mirror Mirror, but depending on the ultimate outcome, that may change. 

Of course, as usual, I chose multiple shiny finishes.  While it looks beautiful in person, it's very difficult to get a good picture.  I'll have to make the tutorial, then work another one in less blingy colors.

I've worked a bead woven bezel around an 8mm pearl and am going from there for the look of a baroque or rococo design mirror.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Well. here it is as promised.  The inspiration, Dini Alvis' necklace and my Pendant.
This has been one of the most enjoyable challenges I've ever taken. I've delved into my creative spirit and done something new for me and made a new friend in cyber space.
I really love Dini's necklace and the way it captures the essence of the picture as well as the colors.
It is for sale in her Etsy shop, BedazzledofOregon.
I haven't decided if I'll sell my pendant as a one-of-a-kind piece, or make a tutorial for it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


A few days ago I saw this beautiful picture on a FaceBook friend's post. I made the comment the purple and aqua were beautiful colors for beaded jewelry and added I thought Dini Alves was rubbing off on me.

I promptly got a challenge from her to make a piece of jewelry with these colors. If you know Dini, you may know her work "Colors of my World".  As I don't know her personally and am in awe of her work, I was greatly honored by her challenge.  When we've both finished we'll post our results on FaceBook. I'll post mine here as well.

I would say mine's almost finished, but I know better than to do that.  Just as sure as I do, I'll run into a problem and have to start over.  The challenge was a bright spot in my life at this time and the challenge sparked my creativity.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sale at BeadPatternsBoutique

Good Morning, Beaders! There's a sale going on at BeadPatternsBoutique!  25% off EVERYTHING in the shop.  Just use promotion code bpb25 at check out.

Now's a good time to pick up those patterns you've been wanting.  Want to learn authentic Pondo stitch?  consider this Gingham Bracelet Pattern. It contains step by step illustrated instructions for the authentic Pondo stitch, step by step illustrated instructions and graph for the bracelet and step by step illustrated instructions for the toggle and ring and Ndbele rope, 

There are lots of great patterns throughout the store, jewelry, regalia, ornaments, e-books (now's a great time to stock up on these) and much much more!

Hurry!  Sale only lasts til the end of the month.  Remember to use Promotion Code bpb25 to get your 25% discount on all the great patterns in the store.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rivoli Celtic Cross

After wrestling with the tutorial for this Rivoli Celtic Cross Pendant for two weeks, it's finally finished.  I've made tutorials with rivolis before, but I always used a circle to represent the rivoli. This time I wanted to make it recognizable, so I spent several days experimenting with the illustration. When I finally got it to the point I was satisfied with it I was so excited that I must have lost my concentration. I left out one whole round on the illustration and had to take out the prototype to make sure the illustrations were correct. Then I wanted to put a hidden bale on the back and experimented with that for a couple of days, but it just wouldn't work. Yesterday I finally gave up on that idea and made my standard bale on the top.  I finally got the tutorial finished and this morning took pictures.

I made the blue pendant using super duos, size 11 czech seed beads, 3mm pearls, 4mm bicones and 6mm pearls.  The bronze one is made with twins, size 11 tohos, 3mm, 4mm and 6mm bicones so you can see that it can be made with various shapes.  

I didn't notice until I was trimming the picture that I'd left 2 beads out of the final row on the bottom cross bar on the bronze one. I just knew it didn't set straight and chalked it up to the irregularity of the twins. I guess my focus was really off. I was using a magnifying light the whole time.

I'll be uploading the patterns to all my pattern shops this afternoon and will post that information when I get it done.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend.  The weather's beautiful here and not too terribly hot so it's a good day for outdoors fun or playing in the dirt.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Variety of Stitch Patterns

I've selected a few of my favorite designs in a variety of stitches to show you today. The first is "Sassy Sunflower Bracelet" worked in netting stitch. Of course sunflowers are usually considered a late summer to fall bloom, but you could use any color to represent any rayed flower.

Daisy Eyelet SetThe second one is one of my favorites and is also one of my best selling patterns. This "Daisy Eyelet" necklace and earring design is worked in two needle RAW.

It was inspired by the set my oldest daughter, Wendy Corley, DBA Bohemian Heart, made for my youngest daughter for her wedding. Her dress was made of eyelet fabric and Wendy made this to compliment it.  Though it makes a beautiful bridal set, it can be modified with different colors and shapes of beads for a more casual look.

I made this "Lady Liberty" bezel to go around a silver dollar that was minted the year my father was born. The bezel is for a thin disk, like a coin, but will work with any disk-like cab of the same size.  It is worked in RAW and herringbone stitches.
(5) Name: 'Jewelry : Butterfly Fantasy

"Butterfly Fantasy Bracelet" is worked in one of my favorite stitches; sculptured peyote. Sculptured peyote can be worked by increase and decrease, or by using various size beads.  I prefer the latter and these designs have been among my best sellers.

This "Gingham Bracelet" is worked in a combination of authentic Pondo for the design which is attached to two herringbone ropes. The toggle is made with brick stitch and the toggle ring is peyote.  As you can see, I like mixing stitches.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ongoing Beading Frustrations

I've given up on the wreath I told you about in my post about Piggy Beads, at least for now.  I still think I can make it with piggy beads, just not how I'd originally planned.

I've gone back to playing with twins and super duos and have a pretty good start on a Celtic Cross pendant.  All I lack now is the bale in both the pendant and the tutorial.  Making the tutorial was a real challenge and when I finally got past what I knew was going to be a problem I was elated.  I was so excited over my accomplishment, my attention drifted.  I completely skipped one round on the tutorial and had to take out the prototype back to that point to see why my tutorial wasn't fitting together right.

I've made a little bit of change in my BeadPatternsBoutique shop. I added the category "Two-Hole Bead Patterns" directly under Patterns bead tested.  So far it contains 6 patterns with super duos and one with piggies.  I noticed two hole bead patterns was the key words taking people to my blog and thought I'd make it easier for them.

No pictures for today.  Hopefully, next time I'll have pictures of the cross I'm working on now.

Friday, July 10, 2015


I've been reminiscing this past week over the different bead stitches I've learned and how I've managed to modify the stitches to suit my own designs.
Brick Stitch
After taking 2 years trying to make sense of peyote stitch, I finally got that down and learned to work it in flat and tubular, but I could never work a project with increases on the outer edges.  I finally decided to learn brick stitch, which looks like peyote but is worked in a different direction.  I found that with this stitch it was very easy to make neat increases on an outer edge.  This "Geometrics Bracelet" is one of my first designs I created after I learned the technique.

Two needle RAW (right angle weave) was one of the first stitches I learned and my ability to make my own designs with this stitch encouraged me to make and sell my own patterns. This "Figure Eight" bracelet is quite versatile and may look quite different depending on whether you use pearls, faceted rounds or bicones for the large beads.

While these are two of the major stitches being used at that time I was still hungry to learn new things.  I found a pattern for "Carmen" worked in Russian Lace stitch. This is a netting stitch that is unique in that the lower edge of the project is split allowing it to look equally flattering as a choker or neckace.  When I had made that necklace I sat down with graph paper and made a pattern for this "Celtic Cross Necklace"

I've learn many more stitches over the years and modified most of them to suit my own needs.  I'm still learning.

You can find more of my patterns on:
The Bead Coop

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day

Once again I've been neglecting my blog.  Not because I'm so busy, but because I sometimes think that what I have to say is too trivial for sharing.  I guess I need to get over that, but I've never been a great conversationalist.

Here in the US it's Independence Day or The Fourth of July.  Today for many will be a day of social gatherings, bar b ques, parades and fireworks.

I've created several bead patterns over the years dedicated to our patriotic holiday.  You can view them all in my pattern shop at BeadPatternsBoutique/patriotic jewelry .

Last year my then nine-year-old granddaughter had just gotten her ears pierced, so I made these Bunting and Fireworks earrings for her. 

Looking through my patterns I discovered the tutorial was still in draft mode, so it has never been published.  As a matter of fact, it's not finished.  I needed to tweak the "fireworks" part and just forgot about it.  

I'll try to get it finished for next year.
I hope all of you who celebrate this holiday have a great day and weekend.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Frustrated with Trial and Error Beadweaving

I haven't posted in 10 days and still I don't have a thing to show for that time.  Trial and error beadweaving seems to have become mostly error.  I'm in the process of starting one project over for the third time.

It uses size 15, 11, 8 seed beads and 3mm rounds.  I have relatively uniform 15's and 11's, but not only are the 8's not uniform, they are cylinders and much too wide to be considered 8's.  They just didn't work.  Too bad because I really liked the colorway.  Now I have to sort through and find coordinating beads of a different color way and see if that will work.  

It's one of those monday's every body moans about.  I keep telling myself "this too shall pass".  Maybe I'll believe it tomorrow. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Celebrate Spring

It's still wet here. The West Texas I'm used to has a day or two of clouds and possibly some precipitation, but a full week of same is not the norm and it has me all out of sorts.

I laid the CRAW/piggy wreath aside for now and did a few different experiment with piggy beads. The outcome was "Ostara", a celebration of spring.  I made the green and red one first, but when I finished the tutorial and made the second one to test it I wanted to further experiment with bead brands, sizes and styles. I used amber, green and brown which are more fall colors and don't necessarily go with the name, but it made a very pretty pendant

In the tutorial I included two ways to finish, earrings or pendant, plus a variation of bead sizes and brands and some tips and hints. Over-all I'm very pleased with the outcome and continue to celebrate spring even if it is miserable weather.

For your shopping convenience you can find the tutorial for Ostara in all three of my pattern stores.
Craftsy,  BeadPatternsBoutique and The Bead Coop .

Monday, April 27, 2015

Doodlin' With Piggy Beads

What can I say? It's been a blah week. Erratic weather changes stole my motivation. I got a good start on my piggy bead experiment, but I got so engrossed in the beading process that I got behind in the illustrations. Now I'm going to have to take part of the embellishment out because I can't tell exactly how I did the last row.

I'm not exactly fond of the amethyst colored piggy beads.  They look good in the picture with the light shining through them, but without direct light they're a rather gray purple.  

As I started with the embellishments I thought, done in Christmas colors, this design would make a pretty wreath ornament.  I've finally found a source of piggies that actually had a good assortment and have ordered five more colors.  The design still needs a little tweaking even on what I've already done.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Beading


Looking for something unique to bead for your spring wardrobe? Serendipity is worked in Right Angle Weave using size 11 seed beads, super duos and 3mm pearls or druks in your choice of colors.  The result is well worth the small cost ($6.50) of the pattern.

I'm in the process of making a wreath shape with piggy beads and CRAW stitch.  The CRAW rope circle didn't present any problems, but gitting the piggy flowers to sit on it like I want them to is proving to be quite a challenge.

The combination of fluctuating pressure systems and sitting at the beading table is really doing a number on my muscles, but I perservere! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Renewal Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek of the earring design I'm working on. I didn't use the light box for this picture and it's really hard to get a good picture of the sparky iridescent seed beads and swarovski bicones without filters. Hopefully I'll be able to get a better picture of the finished product.

I've named this design Renewal.  It represents new leaves and budding flowers that follow the long, unusually cold, hard winter we've had this year.

I have all the illustrations drawn for this two needle RAW design and now I'm working on writing the instructions.  That may take a while as finding the right words seems to be a real challenge lately.  I'll finish the tutorial, then work the second earring from it to make sure everything's in order.

Are you celebrating spring?  The weather hasn't been nearly as bad here in the southwest as it has further east, but I'm more than ready to be able to get out and work in the yard.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Super Duo Bead Components

Hand Made Jewelry Club has posted this great tutorial for making super duo components.  Use the components alone or add to them to make other designs.

Here's a pictuer of the bracelet using only the components.  Click on the link above for the full, very simple tutorial.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rope Bezel Update

Tree Agate with chenille rope bezel
Here's the finished product. I showed you a picture of a beautiful tree agate bead I wanted to bezel with a chenille rope in my post More Uses for Beaded Ropes .  I'm very pleased with the way it turned out, but I'll never use chenille stitch for a bezel again.  It just doesn't offer a good configuration for placing beads to close in the cab.

With the bezel around it, a scene seemed to pop out of the bead.  I see a valley framed with trees and bushes.  I hadn't noticed anything but beautiful marbling before.  Strange what a frame will do for a picture.

Blue Opal with tri-RAW rope bezel and strap

Here's the finished blue opal with the tri RAW rope bezel and tri RAW rope neck strap.  I'm in the process of creating a tutorial for this one.

Next on my bead mat is a very irregular chunk of malachite that I'm going to try to bezel with a RAW harness and frame with a herringbone rope.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.  I've tried various bezels on this one and have, so far, been unsuccessful.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lux Bracelet Tutorial

Eureka Crystal Beads has a free tutorial for this lovely Lux bracelet using super duo beads. I can see many modifications and varieations to this desigh. Can You?

Thank you Becky Tallman, for sharing this on Facebook.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Shabanu's Jewel

I love the historical aspect of Helena Tang Lim's inspiration. This is just one of her gorgeous creations with historical inspiration. She researches ancient jewelry and ,using the general shape of it, makes beaded beauties like this.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Edible Wild Plants

I always look forward to the wild greens in the early spring. Dandelions are my favorite and usually the most plentiful on my property. Dandelion greens provide many vital nutrients to your diet including potassium and magnesium. They are natures way of providing you with the necessary nutrients to help energize a winter weary system and cleanse a system that may have become sluggish over the winter from eating too much carbs, which we all seem to crave during cold, dreary weather.

The weather has been so dry here that the dandelions haven't really flourished and the ones that have come out are tough and very bitter even when they're very young.

Yesterday, as I was moving things away from my house preparing to mow, I spotted some wild oxalis, which I haven't seen in several years, as they like moist soil.

Wild oxalis, also know as sheep sorrel or sheep shear, is a great catalist to get your body to absorb other nutrients.  It's slightly sour taste reminds some of lemon.  They're great in a salad or cooked as a pot herb, but eat only moderate amounts of this deliscious green provided by nature, as the oxalic acid in them may block calcium absorbtion.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hana Ami Bracelet Tutorial

Around the Beading Table has some wonderful, easy to follow free tutorials using a variety of stitches.  The one I've chosen to share today is Hana Ami (Japanese for Flower Stitch) which uses triangle weave technique.

Hana Ami Bracelets

Depending on the beads used, this bracelet can be an elegand, sparkling accessory for dress or formal wear, or using bright contrasting colors it can just as easily go casual, fun or even downright funky!

My first introduction to triangle stitch was very confusing and I just never did get the hang of it.  Later I found a tutorial by another person and have been able to use it to make a few designs.

I first learned Hana Ami from Christine Lim.  She uses RAW to make hers and I found it less confusing than triangle weave, however I find that Deborah Roberti has made the triangle stitch tutorial very easy to understand, and I can see many possibilities of variations and additions to this particular bracelet.

Monday, March 23, 2015

More Uses for Beaded Ropes

In post in January 2013 I asked "What Else Can Your Do With a Beaded Rope" and I showed you some samples of chenille stitch and CRAW a pretty meager showing I must admit.  It's taken me two years to come up with other uses for beaded ropes.

I've told you about the tri-RAW rope I was making to encase an opal cab.  Well here it is. I've finally finished it.  I'm still working on the tutorial.  I thought it turned out rather well but was a little disappointed.  the picture on the right is blurred, but this is what it looked like before I closed it around the cab.  I liked that puffy little roll, but alas, when I was finished, it was no longer puffy.

I found this tree agate (or is it moss agate?) bead that I've had forever and decided I'd see if I could put a rope bezel around it.  As you can see both sides of the bead are very pretty, so I need it to be reversable.  In the picture to the right you can see that it isn't smooth, but has some dips and bumps in it..  The rope to the side of the bead is a chenille rope and I think I've come up with a way to close it around the bead without flattening the rope.  We'll see.  The fact that it is a bead means the bezel doesn't have to fit perfectly.  The rope can be attached through the hole in the bead, then bezeled (I think).  I'll keep you posted..

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Why Do I Bead?

The vision in one eys is all but obliterated by glaucoma, my depth perception is shot, making it very difficult to string a small seed bead on my thread; my coordination is in about the same condition as my depth perception, making it difficult to pass a needle through the next bead in my project; my back and hips rebel at sitting in the same position for very long at a time, making it necessary to get up and move around often, which means it takes me many time as long as it should to complete a project or illustrate a design, and still I bead. Why?

I bead because it is the outward expression of an inner conversation that words can't express. Because the concentration on my project drowns out the chaos, distruction, brutality and hatred with which the news and social media constantly bombard the world.

I bead because it fulfulls me. It keeps me thinking. It gives me new things to learn. There are an infinite number of modifications to a myriad of stitches and I haven't discovered them all yet. In short, it keeps my young!

I bead because you, my customers, deserve to wear beauty outwardly that reflects the inner beauty of your soul.

Why do you bead?

Patterns for all the designs shown here, plus many more, can be found in my Craftsy Pattern Store.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Share Saturday

It's share saturday again and I've found some helpful posts for all beaders.

The first one is Bouncing Wolf's recommendation for her beading tray, which you may find very useful if you do craft shows, or just need to protect your project while you're not beading.

Jean Campbell, editor for  Beading Daily has some great tips for new beadweavers.  Follow the blog for many informative, helpful hints and tips for beadweaving.

And last for today is my own tutorial for waffle weave stitch. You can find links to more stitch tutorials in "My Bead Stitch Tutorials" page (tab at the top of the blog).


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