Saturday, May 30, 2009

Drawer of Unloved Beadwork

Sometimes I start a project, and part way into the process grow disenchanted with the whole thing. Rather than take it apart or throw it away, I put it with all my other unfinished beadwork, in the "Drawer of Unloved Beadwork". It reminds me of the "Island of Misfit Toys" from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Every so often I open that drawer and rummage through the mess. Sometimes I feel like Santa, in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", and I decide to rescue one of the pieces. Every project deserves a second chance, just like the misfit toys. This colorful cuff is one of those misfit projects.

A few years ago I glued the cab (once again, a Susan Pierle cab) on some ultra suede, and prepared the wavy cuff with ultrasuede. I beaded around the cab, added some little, flatbacked faceted cabs, beaded around them, and gave up. Off to the drawer it went.

Last week I needed a project, but my creativity level was on "LOW". So I grabbed this piece out of the "Drawer". There wasn't much thinking involved, as the color selection was already done, and the beadwork was started. Two days later and the cuff is finished. This kind of piece is one of the reasons I don't like to answer the question "How long did it take you to bead this?"... who wants to admit it took over 2 years!

Dragonfly Button Necklace

Every so often I pick up some cool buttons at a bead show, promptly put them in my "cool button" storage, and ignore them. After buying a beautiful silver and brass dragonfly necklace at the Boulder Creek Festival, I decided it was time to break out the butterfly button. The necklace I purchased was very simple, so I decided to go the other way, bright and sparkly. Once again, I may have overachieved.

The fuschia AB button, with the gold dragonfly, is accompanied by a fuschia oval crystal, a tear-drop amber cab, and a few little amber-colored glass cabs. The whole, sparkly thing dangles from an 18-inch seed bead and crystal necklace.

Mom's 80th Birthday Necklace

My mom's favorite color is red. Over the years I have made several beaded beads in the color combo of red-black-silver-white. I have also collected various beads in these colors, in hopes of one day making a beautiful necklace for my mom.

This summer the whole family is gathering at Conesus Lake to celebrated Mom's 80th birthday. Seems like as good a time as any to present her with this long thought-about necklace.

Eight of the beads on this necklace are beaded beads that I made. The two large, oval beaded beads were designed by Sharri Moroshok. There is an oval, wooden bead in the center. I took a class from her several years ago. She sells these beaded beads for arouond $65, and believe me, they are worth every penny!! They take several hours to make, and LOTS of concentration.

Another of the beaded beads (black with red diagonal stripes) is a Wonder Bead. Susan Jackson and Wendy Hubick designed these beads, and directions have been various magazines and books.

The other beaded beads were probably from instructions found in various books and magazines.

The rest of the large beads are bali silver balls, red and black "skunk" beads. I strung them all together with black seed beads and various crystals and spacers.

Happy Birthday Mom!

What Would Look Good in My Silver Hair???

For those of you who haven't seen me lately, or haven't ever seen me!, I have a lovely head of dark hair, "generously sprinkled" with what my adoring son calls "beautiful silver hair". For the past several years I have been letting this mane grow, in the expectation that I will be one of those crazy, old, grey-haired ladies with wild flowing locks. (Not quite there yet, 'cept for the grey part, OK, and maybe the crazy part.). Anyways... I frequently wear my hair pulled back in a ponytail with some hair tie I may have "borrowed" from my sweet, almost-teenage daughter, despite a drawer full of beautiful, bead-embroidered barrettes I have made over the years.

I recently decided I'd better start wearing my barrettes, so, in what seemed a logical step at the time, I decided to make a new barrette. I now have a drawer full of barrettes, plus one.

I once again chose a glass cabochon from my collection of Susan Pierle cabs, and decided that silver beads just might look good in my silver hair. Again I incorporated some Swavroski rivolis and . The barrette is absolutely beautiful, and looks absolutely wonderful in my ..... drawer .... with the other lonely barrettes!

Silver Bracelet with LOTS of Sparkle

While recovering from surgery, and enjoying my bright pink cast, I was able to do some beading. Luckily I am left handed, so I only needed my right hand to hold on to the beadwork, not do the actualy beading. The first few weeks went slowly, but I was able to finish this sparkly silver bracelet. The beautiful cabochon was made by Susan Pierle, of Blackforest, CO. There are also some Swavroski crystals in this piece.


Two months ago, Friday March 30th at 1:15 pm to be exact, I had to have hand surgery. I'd like to say the surgery was a result of an injury sustained while freefall skydiving from a plane to save a baby that had fallen out of a hot air balloon after being kidnapped from arms of his mother, who was escaping the clutches of an evil tyrant, but, alas, that is not what happened. Turns out, 2 years ago I tripped (yes, over my shoelace) while running (I was running really fast, mind you!) and broke my right arm and sprained my left wrist. As a result of that fall, I also destroyed the cartilege in one of the little-bitty joints in my right wrist. This injury took a bit longer to surface, and then it took me a looooooooooong time to agree to surgery. The constant, nagging pain, and inability to use the hand for anything useful, finally drove me to it.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I'm using it as my excuse for ignoring this blog.

Fortunately, I didn't ignore my beadwork. The first thing I beaded while "incapacitated" was this wonderful "Eye of the Dragon" ring. I made it from a trial version of a kit by Dustin Wedekind (check out his website at In hindsight, I wish I had made two of these rings, and gotten a green or purple cast. Then my hand could've been, like a cool serpent-type beast. Next time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Rock Goddess

I was digging through my cabochons and found some that I had purchased back in my stained glass days. I have no idea what the bottom cab is. It kind of looks like sandstone, but has a pretty pink layer in it... is that natural? No idea. I do know that it is some sort of rock though, so I'm OK naming this necklace "Rock Goddes". The "head" cab is probably quartz. Apparently I need to keep better records of my purchases! I'm thinking of beading a series of Rock Goddesses... lets see how that goes!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's Finished!!!!

OK, here it is in all its sparkly glory. I have to laugh when I show this to various friends. My non-beader friends feel that this piece is somewhat "over sparkly", while my beading friends are a little disappointed in the lack of sparkle!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

To Fringe or Not to Fringe

My plans to add a new beaded item to my blog are being thwarted at every turn! My motherly/wifely duties keep me too busy. Then my daughterly duties required a visit to NY to see my parents. A very fun, relaxing visit. Upon returning to CO, my 5 day trip put me about a month behind in the motherly/wifely arena. This is with only 2 children. How is that nutcase with 6 little kids plus 8 brand new babies gonna do it?

Yesterday I was finally able to get back to beading on my "big honking necklace". Once I was done with the bead embroidery I had to refocus on my photography so I could get these pictures posted before continuing with this project. This endeavor required a few trips to the camera shop, and some work on my photo skills. Getting a little better, but still not great. So, without further ado, here are a few new photos... finally!

Now the big question is, do I add a nice, sparkly, possibly gaudy fringe to this piece, or just let the current sparklyness speak for itself?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flying Lady

I hope to add at leat a piece a week to this blog. This week I started what I lovingly refer to as a big "honking" collar. Not something I can finish in a week. I was going to whip up and "instant gratification piece" today, but got sucked back into the "honking" piece. So, instead I decided to post this currently unfinished piece, in hopes that it would inspire me to complete it.

I didn't actually do this piece this week, but I do need to finish it... or is it finished? I can't decide if I want to add a fringe or not. It looks kind of cool without one, but lately I've been enjoying wild fringe. I have lots of cool beads for the fringe. Maybe posting this will get me going.

The necklace has a ceramic face, possibly from Earthenwood Studios, since they carry ceramic faces just like this one. There is also a flat backed teall crystal, and a pretty teall pressed glass leaf. I thought about giving her wings, because she reminds me of my friend, Star, who loves bees. The bead embroidery is mostly with size 15 seed beads, and also size 11's. There are also somed 4mm Swavroski teall crystals.

The 20" strap has 11 and 8 seeds, Russian Amazonit, goldish potato pearls, 4mm firepolished beads, 4 and 6 mm Swavroski crystals, and some random light green rondelles that are some sort of stone!

Once again, the color isn't true (even though I used the good camera this time!). The purples are darker than the picture, and the greens are more of a teallish tone. (teallish?)

Any opinion on to fringe or not to fringe is welcome.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"A Year in Beads" a year late!

In January 2007 I decided to keep a blog of my beading for the year. Following my strict rules of promptness, I am making my first post, in January 2008. So, it must follow that I will track my 2008 beading, not my 2007 beading!

Now that that is settled, I post my first beading project of the new year. This bead embroidered piece was quite a challenge for me. I had done several pieces in this color combination with much success, but really struggled with this piece. Once I got over the hump it all came together quickly. Next time I need to get over that hump a lot quicker.

Besides learning to blog, I am also working on photography. I am happy with the layout of this photo, but the colors aren't quite true. The blues are really a bit darker, a steely grey-blue. Very elegant.

The centerpiece is an amber colored druzy quarts. It hwas a little sparkle too it. The cabochon in the clasp is the same. I've incorporated many sizes of seed beads, several pressed flowers and leaves, a few Swavroski crystals, as well as some firepolished beads.