Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Beading with friends

Beading with friends....do you? Do you bead/ make jewelry in solitude? Or do you have some beady peeps to bead with?
I do most of my jewelry making alone, but I enjoy making jewelry with others. I get more accomplished when I'm alone, but beading with my beady friends is always more fun and more inspiring.

I also enjoy going to my local Bead Society. I've said it before....it's just nice to be with people that "get it". They like beads and jewelry as much as you do. Each meeting we usually learn a new technique taught by another member, or bring a project to work on. Just a room full of ladies (but we would welcome a man) making jewelry together. Fun.

And even, taking a 45 minute "class" at Bead Fest Spring's "Inspiration Playground" this past weekend was fun (and it was only $2!!!). We learned how to make wire bracelets with the Beadalon 3-D bracelet jig - more to come about that later! We all sat there, bending our wire, helping each other, learning the technique. Fun.

Recently, I've had two jewelry making play dates with two different friends. The necklaces I posted in March (made with old brooches) were the outcome from my "jewelry day" with my friend Joan. We spent all day together, making jewelry. We worked on our individual projects. After completing something it was fun to hold up a finished piece to show to her immediately, and also just to declare I finished it. It would be a bit strange to say "Done!" out loud when I'm by myself. (although I don't think the cats would mind). As one of us would finish a design, the other would offer supportive comments. Fun.

Last week, I went to my friend Suzan's house. It was only for a couple hours one evening, but still enjoyable. There is something about sitting and working on jewelry, and chatting at the same time. It's calming, but also inspiring. Suzan always has tons of cool bits and bobs to drool over. She had asked me to show her what I do with old buckles. So, I grabbed some silver metal butterflies from my stash we could use to practice with (they were a thrifty find from a couple years ago - very shiny and not really my style).
She had collected quite a few buckles, so we looked through them (I was oooh-ing and ahhh-ing). I picked one that was not especially special, to demo what I do, wrapping the metal around the buckle. Then I did another one, showing another wrapping variation. She wasn't loving those shiny butterflies either, so she said I should just take them home. She also gave me a fabulous buckle with a pink rhinestone....later in the week, I made all of them into finished jewelry....and here is where the inspiration lead me....

The first shiny butterfly...wrapped around a vintage round black buckle. I used various black beads...faux black Cinnabar, polymer tubes, two of my enameled beads, some silver bead caps...and Arte Metal black chain (from Vintaj).

These shiny butterflies are growing on me....

The same butterfly on a vintage maroon plastic buckle. The lampwork beads have been in my stash for forever (picked up at a bead show, from China or India?). Added to that, dark red glass pony beads, and rustic matte small beads. The jumprings, claps and bead caps are gun metal. I  just got the silver chain at Bead Fest Spring!

Perhaps I can add wire antennae through the hole in his head...hmmm.

And, then there's the fabulous buckle she gave me! It's really half of a buckle. There would have been another piece that hooks into this piece, to make a belt. Can you imagine the dress that this went with?
Anyway, another enameled bead, Czech glass flowers, dark brass beads caps and chain.

 To clean or not to clean? I don't mind the signs of wear, but I may try to get that dark blob in the middle off...either way, I love, love, love it!

Many thanks to Suzan (I know you read this blog!) for the buckles, the inspiration, and your friendship. I look forward to beading together soon. Fun!

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