Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Show me a beader, and I'll show you a bent needle...

I can't believe the torture I put my needles through. A (non-beady) friend once asked me, quite curious, if I had to get my needles anywhere special. I asked why? she said "I've never seen one bent like that..." LOL!

Oh, of course, I've started playing again. Must be all the newly found space around me, as more and more of our prized possessions are packed away for safe moving. And I did just finish a piece for an anklet swap I participated in. I was inspired by Rachel Nelson Smith's "Ootheca Cuff". Sadly, though she is one of the best beadweavers I've seen come along in a very long time, I can't afford the asking price for miss Nelson's kits or patterns, they're quite dear ($190 for the kit? YOWZA!), so I had to reduce myself to studying a photo of her Ootheca design for a bit, and subsequently adapted the design to my own idea, surface embellishing two base rows of 4-bead RAW, embellishing alternate segments with Tubular Peyote and Lattice Weave.

I used bronze metalic iris beads in both 11/0 and 15/0, and some lovely bronzey freshwater pearls as accents.

I like it. Very substantial.
Doesn't feel flimsy at all.

I just hope my swap partner likes it as much as I liked making it. I'll be making more of these, but it won't be too fast, seeing as it took me a good 4 hours to finish. :/

Not newly made, but newly photographed

I made this piece wayyyy back in May, right before Mom came down for Mother's Day weekend. It's based on a pattern for the "Diagonal Lines" Brick Stitch bracelet that was once featured in the 2003 August issue of Bead & Button.
I adapted it to a longer strip, and only embellished on the bottom edge, which gave it a nice natural curve. I used a SS 4-prong slide clasp, and Mom LOVED it! :D

Sits nicely, right at the base of the neck.

Cubes, 2mm firepolished crystals and 15/0 Charlottes in bronze metallic A/B.
The cubes required a LOT of culling due to their irregularities in length, and lots of chipped corners. I've tried these with the Japanese cubes, and they still required quite a bit of culling.

Another piece I made a while back was a custom order, after the customer saw my bracelet samples for the ANPT article I submitted. I must say, it turned out quite nicely. The only problem was that the resulting bead-knit fabric tended to loosen up and the choker would start to droop right below the neckline. Nothing a little black cotton lining couldn't fix!

A mélange of both regular and Charlotte cut size 8/0s in gunmetal grey with a 5-prong SS slide clasp.
So, there you go, a little newnes in the eye candy department. :)
Hope you like them. Let me know what you think of the knit choker, that's all my own, and I'm pretty proud of that. :D

Friday, August 08, 2008


I have a problem. I have too many U.F.O.s (UnFinished Objects) kicking around. The problem is in their design. They're missing important components needed to finish them.

For example, this first one I started this past spring, and I haven't been able to find just the right clasp for it. Well, I did find a lovely sterling silver leaf pattern toggle that might suit it, but I still have to figure out how to finish the ends on this rope. I suppose I could also go the hand-woven route, and make some lovely Peyote end caps, with a matching toggle. At this point, what I think is stopping me is TOO MANY IDEAS! ;)

Still needs a bit more embellishments within the rope itself.

I just love the look of Mabé clusters.

The next piece is a lariat, inspired by one of our ice storms this past winter. I wanted the piece to be branch like, and the end is meant to look like an ice covered branch. I ordered a custom lampwork bead for it, but am still waiting on that. (My lampwork artist got herself a day job... :(... LOL!)

I'd like to design this piece as if it was going through a Spring metamorphosis, like when you see branches or plants, still covered in snow and ice, but they're little flowers and leaves still find a way to peak through.

I thought it looked pretty neat.