Monday, October 03, 2016

Beady Play Date

I recently had a play date with a my friend Joan. She came over in the morning, and stayed til dinner time!! We took a lunch break, and then got right back to playing.

This is Joan sitting at the "guest table" in my bead room.
I sit in the black office chair, surrounded on 3 sides by beads. OMG. It is quite a mess. I will be doing some major reorganization when I start putting things in the Printer's Cabinet (see post from last week).
 Here are Joan's busy hands. She brought all those jars of beads from her house!!
There's nothing better than a day of beading with a good friend!! Good times!

Some New Jewelry, At Long Last.

It has been far too long since I've posted photos of jewelry. I have been making it. I just haven't been taking the time to snap photos for the blog! Sorry about that.

Here's some simple necklaces that I made from pendants I made a while ago, but never finished them up! I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. You buy a new component, and want to use it right away, so you don't stash it away, you keep it on the desk, so you can look at your new precious and shiny. Then weeks pass, and you still don't know what to do, so you do something little, like pick out a jump ring or bail and attach it, or in my case, wrap a filigree around it. Then more weeks (or months or years) go by, and that fabulous component is still staring back at you!! It will not be ignore any longer!!

This is a wood cab (from Skye Jewels, I think). I wrapped the filigree around it when I got it (a long time ago!) It was on the desk, when the greenish enameled bead was in view (from Gardanne, before I started enameling). I picked out some pink flower beads from my collection. Voila! (it only took years to make! lol)
 Another angle. The pendant is lightweight, as is the enamel bead.
 This Raku moon cab has been in my possession for a really, really long time. I loved it too much to make anything with it! It is from Oscar Crow on etsy. That shop has some cool and bizarre things.
The Raku bead is from Xaz beads (when they were at Beadfest one year!) The other beads are hard to see, but they are Vintaj. Still not sure I'll be able to part with this one...

Just a simple chain for this one. It's an ivory vintage plastic floral cab I picked up a long time ago (on etsy, maybe). I wrapped the filigree around it a year ago (probably) and it sat on my bead desk, waiting for the inspiration to come. I finally decided it just needed a chain!

My latest "jewelry crush" is making these bracelets. They are fun to make and fun to wear. The only challenging thing about them is finding beads with holes big enough to slide onto 18 gauge wire.
What components do you have on your desk, nagging you to finally do something with them already?? (they are looking at YOU!)

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Printer Cabinet Revealed!

If you have read this blog before, you may remember this post from this past April:

I am thrilled to have finally finished cleaning and refinishing my printer cabinet!!
It's in my bead room, ready to be filled with beads and findings!
 A close up of the drawers pulls!!

The actually loading of the beads into the drawers is turning out to be a bit daunting. I'm a hesitant to begin, worried I won't have it organized correctly, then I'll have to get the beads out of their tiny compartments.
But, I guess I will just need to take a deep breathe and begin!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A "love note" from the birds!

My mom had a huge sunflower plant come up in her garden this year. They were planted by a neighbor last year, and they are popping up all over the neighborhood this year. This plant has produce lots of blooms, and lots of seeds. The goldfinches have been going to town on the seed heads. They are really active....eating and singing.
They left my mom a love note, of sorts.....
it's a heart!!
What little darlings!!

Here's  photo from 2 years ago, of goldfinches on our feeder - they sure like to eat!

Friday, July 01, 2016

Happy 4th of July (2016)

I don't usually make a big deal about the 4th of July. I mean, not as far as it concerns jewelry. We go to family picnics, enjoy fireworks, do all the traditional stuff. But I don't go to great lengths to make or wear patriotic jewelry.
But that all change a bit last week. I was looking through my etsy history, trying to locate a shop I'd purchased from before. I didn't find them, but stumbled into Porkshopshow again. He has the funnest, craziest stuff - I love it. They have images adhered to wood, and then laser cut. So, I couldn't help myself - I bought some. True confession here - I still have the stuff I purchased from them years ago!

Anyway, let's not dwell on the past.

I bought a couple different items, but I was drawn to the vintage patriotic collection of images. Here's what I made, in time for this weekend!!

First up - I went super simple. I wrapped the wooden "tile" in a piece of Vintaj filigree, and strung it on a piece of recycled silk ribbon.
 Next - same filigree wrapping, but I made some red & blue wire wrapped links with Chinese crystal (nothing's more patriotic than making red, white and blue jewelry with Chinese beads!! lol) and some vintage Lucite red beads, brass bead caps and spacers.
I plan to let my mother choose one of these 2 necklaces to wear to a picnic on Saturday, if she wants to.
 Lastly - I liked the blue and yellow color palette of this tile. Same filigree wrap as first 2, and a simple wire wrap link with yellow Czech glass flower as an accent. I plan to wear this one myself!
 In the meantime, I had also ordered some supplied from Craft Fantastic. The teardrop drop kit (bezel and glass) arrived this week too. So, I picked out the blue and yellow image, and made links, to match the necklace. These can be worn anytime, since there is nothing about them that's patriotic.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July celebration!!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Versatile Sea Glass - it's not just for jewelry!!

A while ago, the folks at Znetshows put out the call: show the versatility of our cultured sea glass!
While cultured sea glass beads are great for making jewelry (of course!), especially beachy, dreamy jewelry, they can do so much more. So the design team "brainstormed" ideas, and then we were given beads to put our money were our mouths are. As you will see, cultured sea glass can sure do a lot.
My ideas were to do a wreath, or table ware/ serve ware, or other household items.
For my wreath, I chose cultured sea glass beads in the Olive color. I wanted an earthy green that could have a Christmas feel, but that could also work at other times of the year.
My Woodland wreath on my red front door looks "holiday-ready", but it will just look like a natural woodsy wreath when I move it to my back door for the spring.
I started with a vine wreath, and wired the mesh ribbon to it, creating spaces for the "flowers". I created the "flowers" with the sea glass, and some wooden beads from my stash. Overall I'm happy with it. I am toying with the idea of adding a mesh bow, but haven't figured out how or where to do that.
Znetshows beads used for the wreath:


My next idea was to wire some cultured sea glass beads to some wood salad servers. I thought it would be easy to locate wooden spoons in the dollar store. But the only thing the dollar store had was unattractive plastic! (the dollar store ain't what it used to be) I finally located these bamboo utensils at Ross (also at Marshall's). I was relieved, because I had already requested the beads, and knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do.
I wired the beads to the ends of the utensils, to make a flower that looks like a poinsettia, one in red and one in olive green, to use at Christmas time. I used brown wooden beads in the center.
My new Salad Set looks great with my melamine bowl!
Here 's a closer look at the flowers. The utensils came in a set of 5, so I can make 3 more beaded utensils in the future!

Znetshows beads used for salad set:

While I was waiting for my olive green and red beads to arrive, I got started with some of the beads I received previously from Znetshows.
I found this little jar at the dollar store (while I was there looking for the salad set). It is the perfect size for Q-tips or cotton balls, or anything small. It also could be made into a candle!

These cultured sea glass beads are light aqua "coke bottle" and periwinkle that changes color. It looks more light blue in natural day light, and more lavender in warm incandescent light.
I think it will look nice in my pink tile bathroom, whatever the light source may be!

I wrapped annealed steel wire around the top of the jar, under the lip for the lid. Then, in a bird-nesty style, I made loops and twists, adding beads as I went around.
A different angle....
And another angle.....
Znetshows beads used for Vanity Jar:
P28-B88 - Cultured Sea Glass center-drilled bottle lip-style Pendants center drilled 25x13mm 88 - Light Aqua `Coke` bottle Seafoam 
S38-B39 - Cultured Sea Glass nugget Beads 10-15mm 39-Periwinkle Changes -periwinkle blue color (7-pc-str)      

Maybe you have other ideas to make non-jewelry items with beads - do tell!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Message On An Earring

I'm humming the song "Message in a bottle, yea"...

I got a request to make "message earrings". It's not really my thing. I make what the muse tells me to make. Most of the time. Sometimes, though, I set out to create something I have in mind. So, trying to create message earrings, the first pair I made was "Oui and Non". I love these charms, and have made earring with just the charms (I don't even need the muse's help to make those!). But I thought it might be cool to also incorporate red (for stop) and green (for go). So, I put some small vintage German glass beads in between some Vintaj bead caps at the top of the charms. Just a little of the bead colors peek out from under the bead caps.

The other pair of earrings are not even message earrings! That was a fail, as far as the mission goes, but I like the way they turned out anyway. I thought about of somehow adding words to the robin's egg colored wooden beads, but decided to stop. I like them as is.  The beads hanging from the birds are opalescent blue Czech glass. So, no message, but I've actually named them "Wing It!".

After not succeeding with making earrings with an actual message, I looked through my brass blanks, and decided to stamp something in these Arte Metal round discs (from Vintaj). One pair say "SOAR", the other pair says "FLY AWAY". I stamped the letters a bit crooked and imperfect on purpose.
Then, of course, I needed to use some Vintaj patina so the message could actually be seen. The patinas dry very quickly, and it left a mess all around the letters. So, I decided to smear the color all over, in a thin layer. Then I used a sanding block to remove a little, until I like how it looked.
I dangled little bees in front of "FLY AWAY", and little birds in front of "SOAR". The birds and bees are either Vintaj, or Trinity Brass (which has morphed into Creative Soul Supply).

Either of these could make a nice graduation gift - encouraging the grad to spread her wings and soar!
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring inspired necklaces

I was sorting through some focals recently, and a few of them made their way to the desk. This pendant is from beadfreaky on etsy. I hate to admit how long I've had these (a very long time). The Red Creek Jasper beads are perfect for this pendant. Vintaj bead caps and chain, of course.
 I bought a couple of these vintage glass hearts at The Mr Venus Oddity Shop on etsy. I sold the first necklace I made, so I thought it was time to make another one. The blue beads in the necklace are vintage German beads from Fire Mountain. More Vintaj bead caps, jump rings and chain. The piece of filigree attached to the heart is from Ornamentea.
Another cute pendant from beadfreaky. Etched agate beads (from Beadfest, years ago) and Vintaj bead caps and chain, and the little connector too. I have no idea where the off-white (stone/rock of some sort) beads are from, maybe some old Bead Soup ingredients?
Yet another beadfreaky pendant! Such a cute little bird, in a pretty shade of pale lavender. The purple beads are jade (maybe?) Honestly, most of my bead stash is so old, I can't remember much about them. Maybe I knew what they were when I bought them, but now I'm just not sure. Vintaj bead caps and chain, as usual.
This fabulous pendant is from Humblebeads. I love the way the color is varied, from peach to pinkish peach. I wanted to hang a charm in front, but didn't want to cover it up, so the little bee seemed like the right thing. The ceramic square beads are from Joann's (Blue Moon) and matched pretty well. The round bead is a beaded bead from Walmart! Vintaj butterfly, chain, bead caps, etc.
Last but not least, another beadfreaky pendant. Yummy blues and aquas on this butterfly. I looked through my stash of tiny Chinese crystals (from Beadfest, various vendors) and located these. Since they are all very small (3-4mm), I decided to make color blocked connectors. This necklace is ready for summer!
That's it for now. Thank you for stopping by to see my blog!

Friday, April 15, 2016

How lucky can one girl be.....

O.M.G. I am over the moon about this....

My neighbor casually mentioned he had printer's trays (dozens of them) and did I want any? I said probably not, but I have always wanted a printer's cabinet. To my surprise, he said he has TWO!! And did I want them?? I said *YES* but I only had room for one of them. I was sure I knew someone who'd take the other one (actually, I know 4 people that would like it!). I am so excited to get this over to my house, so I can clean it up and start using it. My beads will be soooo happy to have such a nice home!

This is currently in my neighbor's basement, but will be coming to my house this weekend!!!!!!! Pinch me!

Earrings, all with vintage appeal

Some recent earrings for your viewing pleasure!

I l.o.v.e. the faux opal connectors on the first pair! The green leaves are vintage supply and Czech flowers and Vintaj bead caps. The purple pair are Czech table cut flowers and vintage rhinestone dangles. I did not notice when I snapped the photo that they are laying on their sides. They have purple rhinestone navettes.
 More vintage yumminess! More vintage leaves in black. More rhinestone connectors. Some rhinestone rondelles with brass beads. And green druk beads with Vintaj beads caps.
 These 2 pair have the same Czech table cut flowers. The shorter pair also have vintage German glass beads from Fire Mountain. The longer pair have a vintage green rhinestone connector and some crystal beads.
I actually forced myself to put all these in the shop. Several have sold already, so, there's that. I know I'm supposed to be happy when I sell things, but I really liked all of these. I hope their new owners will love them too.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

This N That

I started this post a while ago, but never published it!

These earrings are made with Humblebeads bee charms, some teensy Vintaj Arte Metal leaves, and some fall-inspired Swarovski bicones. The charms have a bee/ honeycomb design on 1 side, and a flower on the other, so, no matter how these hang, they look good (comin' and goin').
Lots of cool vintage finds in this pair of earrings. The leaves are vintage glass from The Mr Venus Oddity Shop on etsy. The rhinestone connectors are also vintage stock from StDymphnaSupplies on etsy. Little Czech flowers with Vintaj bead caps to finish them off.
This is a second making of this necklace. My first one was a success (in black and white and grey), and I have worn it many times. My idea/concept is a necklace made from the "treasures" you might find in child's pocket - rocks, sticks, feathers, etc.
The "treasures" used are: My enameled bead, key charms, a feather charm, a dagger from Scorched Earth, a strawberry "quartz" bead, a beaded bead, and pink dyed Howlite(?). Vintaj chain and spacer beads.
A closer look. The feather with the rhinestone cup chain was actually from a disassembled pair of earrings.
Jumping back to earrings...these are all Czech glass, Swarovski bicones and Vintaj (BTW, ear wires are not Vintaj). The leaf beads are opalescent and glow when light hits them.
Thanks for reading my blog!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Reusing African beads, for a good cause.

My friend Sheryl came into these African beads. Knowing her love for beads, they were given to her by a friend, and were from the collection of that friend's sister.
Sheryl had the idea to create a necklace for her friend with the beads, as a remembrance of her sister. There were 2 large strands of beads, so Sheryl wanted me to come up with several designs. The remainder of the necklaces would be used for fund raising for "Dining For Women".

So I started to put together some necklaces. She wanted fairly simple necklaces. The necklace second from the left is my favorite, and I was asked to keep it for myself - I gladly accepted.
 This necklace is convertible - it can be worn as a necklace, or, with the chain removed, a bracelet.
 After I showed the above group to Sheryl, she had the idea about turning these beads into the fund raising, by making as many necklaces as possible (for Dining For Women, as mentioned above). So I explored more designs, keeping the bead usage per necklace low, to stretch our beads!
 I gave those necklaces to Sheryl, and she was going to let her friend chose one to keep. The unknown detail to me is that her friend is not able to use a clasp well, and could not manage to get any of these on! OK, no problem! These last two necklace are easy to wear. The necklace on the left is on a long chain that will slip over her head. The other necklace has a magnetic clasp. The smaller brass "bead" is the clasp! Simply pull apart, put the chain around your neck, and then put the 2 sides of the clasps near each other and they'll snap together!

Since our last meeting, Sheryl's friend has given her MORE African beads to make up necklaces for Dining For Women. She also had received some feedback from others about possibly using cord or leather instead of brass chain. I will look into that.
I'll be making these necklaces, in various beads, colors, designs for some time to come!
So many beads, so little time!!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Viking Knit!

 Years ago, I met a woman at the Craftsy meet-up who said she'd teach me Viking Knit. But, she and her husband moved before we got the chance to get together. Flash forward to 2016, and a friend from Bucks County Bead Society (another Cynthia) knows how to do Viking Knit, and she showed me. It's really much less difficult than the end product looks. And I am sure there are techniques and nuances that make the end result more uniform and perfect. But heck, I'm just happy to have done this!
The front part of the necklace is the Viking Knit section, finished with cones on the ends. I added a mother-of-pearl flower button and bead on 1 side, and a stack of mother-of-pearl beads on the other. Vintaj rolo chain at the back of the necklace.
 The pendant is a vintage mother-of-pearl buckle, with a Vintaj butterfly dangling in front.
There are "imperfections" in the Viking Knit I made, but who could tell? If I'm going to do more Viking knit, I'll need to get my own a draw plate, to pull the knit through.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 29, 2016

More Mahjong inspiration

After I finished making Sharon's custom necklace (see previous post), I was still feeling the inspiration to make more!

I found some similar beaded beads at.....Walmart, of all places! A new Walmart just opened near me, and I happened upon a little bag of mixed beaded beads, much to my delight.

So, here we have 2 odd "Indonesian" beads, some faceted Czech beads, and more of the love knot connectors that I'm currently smitten with making. Vintaj chain, bead caps, clasp, filigree.

 Here's a close up of the beads - they appear to be made by pushing beads into clay or epoxy.
Below is another Mahjong necklace, not inspired by the previous one. While circling the bead dept at AC Moore, these Czech beads caught my eye. They are like slag glass - with a mix of yellow, orange, brown and bits of aqua. And they were on clearance!! I thought they'd look great with some of my Mahjong tiles, and they do! Along with the filigree wrap around the tile, I used a little piece of filigree, and one link that's made completely of brass beads, just to mix things up. This necklace is going to a good home on March 6th. I am donating it to "Dining For Women", for a charity raffle. The money will go towards helping impoverished women around the world gain skills and a means to support themselves. I hope it will bring some money in, for a worthy cause.

And lastly, a colorful bird tile. I had a made a similar necklace a while back with these flower beads, but I expanded the color palette in this necklace. I have a stash of Czech glass table-cut flowers in a variety of colors, and just started laying them out until I was happy with the arrangement! I added the filigree leaf, since the bird is sitting on a branch with leaves.

Another angle of the bird tile. This tile is a bit brighter in color than the other two. I'd guess it's not quite as old.
 If you're getting sick (and tired) of Mahjong necklaces, not to worry. My next post will show my first ever attempt at Viking knit!!
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Another Custom Mahjong Necklace

Time sure flies! I have the best intentions of writing posts for my blog, but somehow never get the photos taken of my new jewelry. So, this past Saturday morning, I went outside and took pictures in the brisk sunlight! I was cold, but I did it anyway! I'll try to space the blog posts out a little....

I received a custom necklace request from a friend of a friend! She had seen one of my Mahjong necklaces on her friend's neck, and wondered if she could get one for herself. So, she & I "talked" through email. She wanted a tile with a red dragon, but I didn't have one in my stash. So, she found one on the internet, and then we finally met in person, for her to give me her red dragon. We chatted about what she'd like in the necklace, and about other things. It was a nice chat!
She also gave me some beads she'd bought here and there, to use or not to use, as I saw fit. Her beads were pretty cool, and I thought they'd be great with the tile. So, here you see the results!

All the beads used were her beads. She had a couple strands of faceted Czech or fire-polished beads in a mix of colors, which were a perfect compliment to her beaded beads. The beaded beads look to be hand made, possibly Indonesian? They are covered with tiny beads that are glued on, or pushed into epoxy. I made some love knot connectors with Vintaj twisted jumprings. Everything else (filigree, bead caps, chain, clasp) is also Vintaj.
 Here's a close up of the Red Dragon tile, and Sharon's beads.
 Here's another close up of her beads and the love-knot connector I made.
 She also was happy to get earrings. She said that they didn't need to be matchy-matchy with the necklace, so I used some of her other beads that I didn't use in the necklace, but made them in a similar way as the connectors in the necklace.
We met again last week for me to give Sharon her new necklace and earrings!! She was very happy with them!