Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lentil Twist Collection

While playing with bead crochet last year, I came up with this simple design, using Lentils. It's simple, and very satisfying to make. Once I've determined which lentils I'll be using, I proceed to choose the best thread for their coloring, and then I'll just rummage through my stash of beads to find accents that will enhance their beauty. I can string up to 6 bracelets on one spool of thread at a time, each new bead combination different from the last - I will NOT duplicate any of the combinations. The stringing is tedious, as I can't use a spinner with these, I have to sit at the table, count my lentils, and string them beads individually. But the results are well worth the extra effort.

One of the perks of being a jewellery designer: My very own personnal collection of Lentil Twist bracelets. (Lucky Moi!) :D

My most recent stash of 'bodies', just waiting to be finished with end beads and a clasp.

I found these cute little cardboard boxes at the dollar store. They are just perfect for storing my finished pieces; great bracelet length as well.

The "Loot" so far.

This morning, I strung enough beads for 5 more bracelets, with Aqua colored lentils this time. Ooh, they're so pretty! I've been selling these bracelets so quickly, that I figured it wouldn't hurt to stock up on them. Way to be a good business girl, eh? ;) I've got plenty of lentils, all the clasps I need, my only problem is the end beads. I need them in a few more colors, to make the design look uniform. Nothing an order to my favourite Chinese supplier wouldn't fix... I'll have to find a few local girls to piggy back on the order though, I don't think I can cover the minimum $500 order by myself... yet... ;)


Monday, December 18, 2006

How Jewels got her groove back...

Well, if Stella can do it, why can't I?

I hadn't been able to find my muse in the last little while. I just kept jumping from project to project, not really finishing any of them, too many ideas, not enough time... It was a custom order that got me back in gear I think. Having to come up with something stunning from a pile of beads can be a challenge, but sometimes, all you need is that perfect focal bead to start with.

Take this necklace for example. I purchased those tanzanite blue daggers a few months ago. Absolutely fell in love with their color. But they just sat there in a box, because I didn't think I had any other beads I could use with them. Well, I have plenty of beads, to be quite honest, but I wanted something that would accentuate them, liven them up.

Last week, I met with my friend Teri to purchase a flameworked heart so I could finish the previously mentionned custom ordered piece. I asked her to bring a few extra beads that I could maybe purchase from her, not really having anything specific in mind. When Teri laid out all of her beads on the mat, one piece caught my eye. I thought "how perfect, this bead would match those daggers I got...." Funny thing is, Teri almost didn't bring is, telling me "I wasn't sure, since you're not really a 'purple' girl..."

I'll admit, I do go through phases where I'll favor one color above all else, but I can't really categorize myself as a particular 'color' girl. I like ALL colors, I really do. I guess sometimes, it just boils down to whatever stash of beads I have at hand... In any case, I love all the colors of the rainbow, and I'm sure that one day, I'll attempt to design something that represents a rainbow...

Finding the perfect Focal
A sort of squared off 'mellon' bead, with silver foil, and some dychro mixed in.

Yummy little Tanzanite daggers. I can't help but love color. Colors to me are like smells, they really enhance my moods.


I had some size 8/0s in a cute 'pastellish' mixture, which I believed would really bring the piece together, to which I added two more different purple beads, and then I finished it with a silver infinity clasp and a solid silver ring. I'm going to have a difficult time parting with this piece... Sometimes, I so wish I could just keep them all....

K. What's next? Who knows, but Jewels' has got her groove back, so you can bet your Sweet Bippy it won't take long...


Wednesday, December 13, 2006


A few days ago, a blogger buddy contacted me about having a special piece made for his mom. We emailed back and forth about design ideas, and implements. We discussed color (s), a clasp, an accent bead. Eric really liked the look of an accent beads on the crochet ropes, so after we'd settled on a primary accent color, I quickly contacted my friend Teri to see if she had any red hearts in her existing bead stash.

See, most people don't realize this, but it can take up to two full days to complete a lampwork bead, depending on the finish, and how long you wish to anneal it, and how long you keep it in the kiln. Well, lucky me, she DID have some, but, she also had to finish filling an order for a local art gallery, so I wouldn't be able to get the bead until today. However, this would allow me quite a bit of time to complete the rope part of my design.

Wine red was the one color that was mentionned, and I just happenned to have two deep reds that I thought would work. So much so, that I mixed them both: black-lined transparent dark red, and silver-lined transparent dark red.

I remembered this deep silver-lined transparent 'root beer' brown 6/0s that I thought would look awesome, but then, I also remembered that they had been very unceremoniously dumped in a container together with some size 11/0 beads at some point, and that if I wanted to use them, I'd have to cull... So cull I did. Took me close to 45 minutes on that alone! LOL!

Once the beads were all mixed into a 'Soup', I thought there was still something missing to the mix. I thought of another 'amber-ish' color to add, but after spending about 20 minutes seperating THOSE from another pile, and mixing them in, I decided their silvery luster wasn't quite what I was looking for, they made the mixture look too 'cool', I wanted a 'warmer' effect , so I threw in a few transparent 'rose' beads, with a gold luster finish, and that just lightenned the piece right up.

I made two crocheted sections, that were to be connected by a large lampworked heart.

A large Teri Elliot heart, with silver foil lining, and two small accent rondelles. It was difficult to decided where I would insert the beads. Should I put one rondelle on each side of the heart? Should I keep them separate from the heart.... I opted for the latter, wanting the heart to stand out on its own. I used them to accent the clasp ends of the ropes.

The finished necklace, the heart is meant to be worn to the side.

This large sterling silver toggle was the third clasp I laid out, and I just fell in love with it as part of the necklace; gives it a more contemporary look. I like the clean lines.

I really hope that Eric's mom likes this piece. Actually, I hope she loves it. This was a very exciting experience actually, seeing as it's the very first time that a "Blogger" contacted me about ordering a piece. Bloggers Rule!



Friday, December 08, 2006

Bead Embroidery

Another Bloggabeader here, Diana, has inspired me to pick my old project back up.

I found these lovely Paua shell cabochons last summer(like, '05!), and they sat in one of my bead stash drawers for months. Around April of this year, I pulled them out, and played around with different layouts. Their ovalness (Hah! I just made that up! or did I...) lent itself well to a flower type shape, like petals, so I thought I'd make a floral shaped medallion. I got them affixed to the Stiff Stuff, and that was that... LOL!

Do-de-do-de-do... A few more months go by, and I'm looking at the dark bronzey-greenish freshwater pearls that I got this spring, and the Medallion comes back to mind. The Paua has a lovely greenish tinge to it, and some of the 'veins' seem to pull out some gold colors, so I pulled out the Medallion, the pearls, and THEN, I remembered these lovely amber colored size 13/0 Charlottes that I snagged on one of my beady excursions:

The amber color in the Charlottes will look so rich against those cabs!

smaller cab.

Now, I'm thinking that at almost 3 1/2 inches across, this might be too big of a piece for a brooch. However, seeing as I've been on this huge "make my own belly dance" belt kick for a while now, I thought it would look awesome right at the forefront of the belt. Imagine, smack dab in the middle, right between the hips, a gorgeous bead-embroidered medallion, all shimmerry and shiny, shimmying it's way around! Wow!

Now I just need to try to design a whole belt around this piece, and I'll be set! ;) Something like the belt shown bellow:

I can't imagine how long it took the artist to complete this piece. Well, if I do indeed endeavour to make such a piece, I won't have to imagine, now, will I?... Now, this belt shown being a single pannel belt, I'd like mine to have two pannels, that lace up both sides. That would make it much easier for me to adjust it to my ever expanding/shrinking hips (I'm like a total yoyo these days... It's the stress...). Now, I'm on a search for more seeds, perhaps in a darker (like coffee) brown, to accentuate the dark veins in the Paua... Oooooooooooh, this is gonna be FUN!!!!!