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).

Friday, March 13, 2015

Architecture For Inspiration

Architecture is a wonderful inspiration for beaded jewelry design.  Just look at these gracious curves, detailed scrolling and color combinations in this picture of the Castello de Sammezzano in Tuscany, Italy that design dautore.com posted.

Huib Petersen posted this to his facebook status and I just had to go see what else this page had.  There are so many design inspirations there I could spend all day looking.  Much of what attracted my attention was architecture, but there are many other things to spark your creativity!  Take a look.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Benefits of Adding Herbs and Spices to Your Diet

Most of us know a well balanced diet consists of a variety fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, in a variety of colors, but our diets may still be lacking in essential nutrients.

Buying vegetables and fruits in season is an easy way to save money, and it's also a good way to insure that we get vital nutrients necessary for that season, but why stop there?

Herbs and spices not only add savory zest to your meals, but they are packed with micro nutrients, and healing properties. Simply adding some hot peppers and or garlic can boost your immune system, fight off illness and aid digestion.

Hot peppers all contain capscacin which has been proven to be a pain reliever (it makes the brain produce more endorphins). Peppers are also high in vitamin C and are a circulatory stimulant. They are known and used in recipes throughout the world from Asia through Europe and into the New World.

Garlic is the all time panecea used for centuries throughout the world to kill all manner of infections, and to boost the immune system.

Many recipes containing hot peppers and garlic also call for small amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or allspice to aid digestion and reduce flatulence. Of course these spices are also rich in micro nutrients.

Of course I could go on and on with the Mediterranean herbs of oregano, thyme and the age old Scarborough Fair herbs, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. All have their own special properties that aid in bringing or keeping your body in good health and providing your food with deeper, richer flavors than can be obtained with just salt and pepper.

Do a little research. Find new recipes. Try one herb at a time. Start with small amounts and begin building your own cullinary delights to improve your health.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday Pon Duo

Here's a lovely tutorial for a twist on Pondo (African Circle Stitch) by Mikki Ferrugiaro posted to the Bead Maven's Blog,

I have created quite a few designs with super duos, but Mikki, true to her "think outside the box" nature always takes design to a completely differen level.

The blog contains the complete illustrations for making this bracelet, and Mikki has also created a link to take you to a downloadable PDF file so you can save it to your computer and print it out to work at your leisure.

Mikki is a one-of-a-kind designer and, as I mentioned, always thinks outside the box.  What she does with just delica beads blows me away.

You can find her patterns (some of them include video tutorials) in her Indie shop.  She also makes and sells some very unique poly clay beads.

Click on the link to go to the blog and download this this unique, free tutorial, or click on the Indie link to go to Mikki's Indie store to find more beautiful tutorials and bead components.

Monday, March 9, 2015

It's Monday! My Tri RAW Rope Project

Here's a picture of my tri RAW rope bezel. I used some lavender lined aqua seed beads on a blue opal cab. I didn't get the tension tight enough on my rope, as you can see. There's some thread showing, which is just wrong. I'll either have to tie in another thread and tighten it up or start all over again.

My order for bicones and 2mm crystals seems to have been dumped into limbo by the postal service during the ice storm last week. The tracking information says it left Medford, OR. on the 3rd of March and that's the last information available.

I'm going to put the 2mm crystals around the edge of the bezel, then make a rope with the same stitch to hang the pendant from. I haven't decided yet whether to put a bail on the cab or just sew it onto the rope.

As my bicones haven't arrived yet, I still haven't done any more to my Cube bracelet.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Share Saturday Quadra Tiles

I'm still struggling trying to come up with unique designs with my two hole beads. A few days ago a Facebook friend mentioned quadra tiles, and it just boggled my mind. I keep telling myself "think 4 hole buttons" but I draw a blank trying to visualize any designs.

Today as I looked for something interesting and unique to share with you I came across this Sweet Bun Bracelet by Cindy Holsclaw on her blog,  Bead Origami.  This beautiful, tiled bracelet is made with quadra tiles.

Cindy's designs have always intriqued me as they seem so complex.  You can see more of her designs and discussions on her blog (click the link above) or buy her patterns or kits from her Bead Origami website.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Slaying Dragons Inspiration Friday

Slaying Dragons by Jewelry Tales
I use various methods for inspiration. Sometimes it's a building with unique lines, sunsets (beautiful color combos), or any number of things can inspire a bead design. I often go searching for pictures of beaded jewelry for inspiration and often see them on my Facebook feed.

A few days ago, I came across this beautiful design by Cynthia NewComer Daniel of Jewelry Tales. This one's got everything - elegance, sparkle, sweeping curves, spikes, what else could you ask for? You can just use this for inspiration to create your own design, or if you work from patterns alone, you can buy the tutorial from Cynthia on her Etsy shop.
Have a great week end and I hope you have loads of time for pursuing your beading addiction.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Too Many Ideas

I don't have any pictures to show you today.  The weather yesterday was abysmal with freezing rain turning to snow and high winds.  No sun and, as I mentioned, my light box just isn't set up to take pictures from over the subject.

While I'm waiting for my bicones to arrive for my cube bracelet I showed you, I started a pendant with a blue opal cab bezeled with a tri RAW rope.  Not bad for the first time trying that particular stitch, though I did have to walk away a few times and come back to figure out how to join the rope.  My eyes got so tired I couldn't see anything so I had to quit for the day.  Hopefully I'll have some pictures by Monday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wellness Wednesday - Get Moving!

Mankind has evolved over millenia to MOVE. Our ancesters found movement necessary in order to survive, but modern technology has changed all that. . .but not our bodies.

Many, if not most, of us lead very sedentary lives even though we consider ourselves energetic. Sitting at a desk eight hours a day or more is detrimental to our health in many ways. Here are some startling statistics.

Sitting for long periods of time is killing us, literally. Inactivity may lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and a miriad of other diseases.

When you sit for long periods of time, your body begins to shut down. Your fat burners turn off, your metabolism and circulation slow down. You also may breath more shallowly bringing in less oxygen (key to the function of the entire body including the brain).

Exercise is key to avoiding these symptoms, but 30 minutes to an hour 3 times a week may not be enough.

Many doctors today are suggesting that you get up from your desk or chair every 30 minutes or so, stretch and walk around for one to five minutes. This restores circulation, improves the oxygen content of the blood and keeps muscles from getting stiff. At my age, I guess I'm lucky.  I'd like to sit for hours with my bead mat in my lap and not move, but my hip and back remind me often to get up!  I've noticed that I haven't gained any weight over the winter this year as I used to to in the past when I could sit for hours.

Dr. Oz has even suggested removing the chair from your desk and doing all your work standing. His office doesn't have a chair in it. Of course depending on the positioning of computer etc. this may not be feasable for you, but DO get up often and MOVE.

Some of the information here was taken from Womens Health Magazine. There is much more information on the website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Neon Pendant Tutorial

What do you think of neon beads?  Looking for free tutorials I found this Neon Pendant on The Best Beads blog.
I have tried for years to figure out how to make a beaded tassel but never could find a way to bind the fringes at the top.  I thought this was a cute fun pattern.

Lets make this a "twofer" tutorial Tuesday.  This isn't bead related, but I love recycling.  Turn a pair of leggins into a cropped top. Watch the video for this very simple change.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Muse Has Returned

It's been a long time since I posted here.  I was beginning to think my muse went AWOL permanently.  The past year hasn't been kind and I've taken it personally, but I'm trying to come back with renewed optimism.
This blog has been primarily bead work and crafting, but I think I'm going to expand it's content.  Good health is important to every aspect of life, so I'll be posting some natural health titles as well as crafting.
A few days ago Sandra Halpenny posted a picture on her facebook page of a necklace called So Many Cubes.  I was scrolling through and had to go back and take a good look.  The necklace was her pattern beaded by ME way back before I started designing and went by beadette2.  The cubes struck a chord with me and I went browsing through my cube beads.  I didn't find any 4mm (the most commonly used) that struck my fancy, but I found these 6mm Russian Jade ones. 

The picture is terrible.  There's no sun and my light box is set up to take pictures from the front (and one of the lamps is burned out), so I had to rely on over head lighting which cast reflections all over the beads.

I rummaged around and found some cream size 11's, some brown iridescent size 6's and some olivene bicones. I'm still just doodling with these, but I really like the bicone edging.  I only have 7 of those, so I ordered some more.  Now, while I wait for my order,  I have another doodle started with pearls.  It's still in the ???what is it stage so I haven't taken a picture of it yet.


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