Friday, June 30, 2006

Icy Bloom

As a designer, sometimes, I'll ruminate on a particular plan for months before it comes to fruition. I'm actually one of those people who draws out her plans and ideas in a little sketch pad (which incidently, I keep right on my nightstand, as much of my design ideas will come to me in my dreams). I've had this idea to create a beaded 'bloom' for a while now, and finaly got to making it. I started this rope last week, not really knowing what it would be when I was done... Would it be a lariat? A bracelet? A short necklace? Last night, I had an epiphany. I got to this length, and just finished it off. I got all the white mix beads I needed, and just got started on making the flower. I then attached the flower to the rope. I felt that keeping it off center added a little classic flair to it.

There's something to be said about looking at a design that came 'through' you. I love this necklace, it's going in my new "Bridal" collection.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pour Madamme Josée

Mme. Josée is my daughter's teacher. We actually had a chance to get closer, as not only did she teach my daughter, but also inadvertently became one my MY students at the gym. Today was the last day of school, and I wanted to offer her something really special, so that she would remember her time with us. Her husband got a job back in Québec, which means that she will be leaving us permanently. So Jaimée will not get to see her even in passing when she returns to school come September. A few weeks back, I went to help her and the kids make stretchy bracelets for their mommies for Mother's Day, and everyone had a wonderful time (Mme Josée was really impressed with the children's skills at manipulating the smallish beads on the elastic). That day, she commented on the bracelet I was wearing, which is a design I found a few years back in one of the trade magazines, called "Trellis Weave". It's a beautiful Daisy Stitch variation, and works up quite quickly.

So I made her one this morning, and then walked to school to pick up Jaimée, and to hand deliver her gift. The card said (in french of course, LOL):

"Pour Mme Josée;
This bracelet represents a Fushia Trellis; a beautiful, vivacious yet delicate plant, that requires a lot of love and tender care, much like our children.
We are so happy that Jaimée had you as her first instructor. We will never forget 'Mme Josée'.
Thank You"

I could tell she was very touched by the gift, we will truly miss her, as she will always be Jaimée's very first teacher. She will always have a special place in our hearts.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Iya's Necklace

Ryen (Iya) called me 5 days ago, and left a message wanting to know if I could make her a necklace to go with her prom dress. Adding: "But if you can't, that's okay too...." Yeah, right! Like I won't make my step-daughter a necklace for such a special occasion! Pfff! What-EVER!!!! LOL!

As any good designer would do, I start with the questions:
Q: Do you have anything particular in mind?
A: No. Well, I don't want a choker...
Me: Okay. What about colors? (I haven't seen teh dress yet...)
Her: Well, Black and green.
Me: Okay. So black and green, and you don't want a choker.
I proceed to send her an assortment of photos of necklaces I have in my "Reference" archives here, and she settled on a lovely netted design. I didn't want it to be to "Over the Top", even though it WAS her prom, but she said she loved the design. Nevertheless, I DID use some artistic license, and altered it to 'scale', as she is on the Petite side. So here it is:
My own design, based on a much more elaborate "Nefertiti Collar" I've done in the past (I love those collars, but where can I wear them, except at my Belly Dance recitals?...)
She said she loved it, so I'm assuming she did... I can't wait to see it with the dress on, they should look smashing together.



Here's Iya with her daddy helping her try the necklace out for size:

I think it looks PERFECT!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

How to Wear a Lariat

Lariats are long rope style necklaces that can be worn in so many ways. Here are a few suggestions on how you can display them.
Of course, these are only a few examples, and the possibilities are merely limitted by your imagination.

Triple Wrap, Double Knot: Wrap around the back, around the front, and the back again, bringing the ends back to the front. Tie two square knots.

Double Knots: Quite easy to achieve, simply pass the rope over your neck, grab both ends, and make two square knots, onver over the other, for that "Chinese Knot" look.

Overhand Knot: After slipping the rope over your neck, grab both ends, and tie them into an overhand knot. A quick tip if you have large embellishements on the ends: Stagger the ends of the rope before tying, for a more decorative look. (Also good if you have large glass beads or stones, to avoid having them "Clank" together)

One Wrap, One knot: Holding both ends, wrap from front to back, and pass the ends back to the front. Tie a single square knot, and Voilà!

The Slipthrough: After slipping the rope over your neck, grab both ends, and tie them into an overhand knot.

How to, Suite...

Here is another example, I call it the Triple Double knot: This technique is better achieved with a longer rope, as the multiple knots use up a lot of the length.

It's a touch more complicated to create this look, but so worth it.
Holding the rope by each end, start by wrapping from front to back. On each side, using an opposite 'end', make one square knot around the wrapped part of the rope, and then a second square knot.
Then with both ends, about two inches lower, make a third and fourth square knot at the center.
LOL! I should put a diagram up of this one!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Topaz Tzarinna is IN!!!

I submitted this piece to Beadwork Magazine to be posted in the Readers Gallery of the mag. I don't know if I made it to the actual printed mag, but I am so proud that it actually made it to the online gallery. You are in the presence of one seriously happy little girl right now!!!!

Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful!!!

You can see her here:

They didn't add my website addy, but hey, they spelled my name right! Happy dance, happy dance!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Oopsy! A few more pieces...

TeeHee! How could I forget? I also made a new style of necklace, inspired by a piece I saw on Laura McCabe's site (Goddess knows, I certainly can't afford her kits at the moment, but her work is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!)

The full view, and a closeup. I used "cap" flowers in three sizes, small drops, glass leaves, and freshwater pearls. I think it turned out quite nicely, and am considering sending IT in place of the other set I made for my mom for mother's day. These are "Her" colors... ;)

Oh, and check these little gems out! I have a friend whom I believe could use a few in her bakery ;) ...
They'd look abso-freakin-fabulous in that gorgeous tree she has in there....

Latest Work

I've been a busy girl in the last week. I could never get my hands on our camera (DH is a camera hog...), so today, I grabbed my chance, and took my work outside; here are the latest pieces:

The first one finished was the Ndebele rope to go with the beaded bead I made a few weeks back. I kid you not, I spent a good 8.5 hours making the rope ALONE! Those little black beads are size 12/0. (for you 'non-beaders' that's anywhere bewteen a small sesame seed, and a poppy seed...) I made it so the bead is removable. That way, the necklace can be worn with, or without the B.B. The accent on the side is actually an integral part of the design, and was created by implementing some of the same beads found in the B.B

I then made a few crochet ropes with these neat "Half & Half" (size5/0 )beads I found on my last trip to the John Bead warehouse (Man, that was a trip in itself. You haven't lived 'til you've shopped for beads with a shopping cart. A SHOPPING CART!!!!!! LOL!) . I had my girlfriend Terri make me a lampwork heart, in black and white, to match the rope. She made a few prototypes, and I'm thinking of making this into a 3-Rope set, and purchase another heart. Here are the ropes so far:

I was going to put the heart on the first rope I made (the one in the center), but once it was on there, I found it just 'dissappeared', and frankly, if I'm going to spend $30 on a bead, I want it to stand out... I just happened to have an old "Indian" lampwork kicking around that suited the rope much better.

Then I thought "Well, I bought the heart, now I need to make a rope for IT..." ;) ... So on the second rope, I simply alternated the 5/0s with some matte black 6/0s. I think it looks pretty sharp! These ropes are made without clasps, so they're actually long enough to simply slip over your head.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pearls Galore #2!!!

Oh, and since I was on a roll with the pearls, and I'd had to cut into a brand new strand of the white ones, I decided to make a Japanese Plum Blossom with the rest. I didn't know if it would work, as the shape of the freshwater pearls are quite irregular, but I'm quite satisfied with the result: I was going to make two, to add to the ends of a crocheted rope, but I find it looks quite pretty, all by itself, on a simple silver snake chain....

Pearls Galore!!!!

Okay, so I went a little stir crazy with my pearls today. I just couldn't help it, they were begging me to play with them! So here's what I came up with:

Pairs #1 and 2 were made with the golden blister pearls, I added some purple glass trumpet flowers to the second pair. I love the look of the pearl clustering off of the sterling silver chain segments. Very rich...

With pairs 3 and 4, I experimented with the smaller white freshwater pearls, but kept the chain design going. The first headpins I used for the first 2 pairs were a bit large for the holes of the smaller pearls, so I had to spend a considerable amount of time reaming them. Saddly, I broke the diamond tip off of my smallest attachment in one of the pearls... By the 4th pair, I remembered that I had some finer sterling silver headpins that would be perfect for them, but this meant I'd have to get busy with some wire wrapping, as opposed to simple loops... Well, I'm not one to shy away from a little extra work, so I went for it! LOL! I am NOT dissapointed with this last one, and I'm tempted to keep these for myself. Which means I'll have to contact my suppliers and see who can give me a better price on SS headpins, because I have a feeling this is going to be a popular model... Especially with me! LOL!!!