Monday, January 31, 2011

Time Flies!

Hello beady peeps! I hope everyone is beading happily into the New Year. It has been far too long since I've written any posts! I began a new career last March, and between the three months of schooling that I had to take, as well as working in my actual job as a poker dealer in a local casino, I have had little time to keep up with my email, Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and oh yeah..... my delightful beading hobby! My new job has been interesting, fun, and action-packed, to say the least.

I managed to take one beading class at Artful Bead Studio this month; a necklace project using the new Miyuki Tila beads. Barbara, the instructor and co-owner of the bead store is such a lovely designer. I sincerely enjoy her classes and admire her projects. Her work has been published in a few of the beading magazines, as well as the work of her store co-owners: her daughter Laina, and partner Amy. There is a really great mixed-media project of Amy's that was published in the Fall 2010 issue of Stringing Magazine for which I have all the materials. I'm anxious to put my piece together.... I just need to find the time!

Since it captured my eye at first glance, I purchased the kit for the Steampunk Necklace featured on the cover of the November 2010 issue of BeadStyle Magazine from Eclectica Beads. I enjoyed putting the necklace together, but I learned with this project that the enameled beads must be handled with extreme care. I managed to crack one of the flowers as I was working with it because I was wrapping my wire so tightly.

I really love fiber jewelry. It's so comfortable to wear and looks so beautiful. Ever since I purchased Annika deGroot's book, "Micro-Macrame: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords," I was easily inspired and eager to create my very own Stained Glass micro-macrame bracelet. I'm so pleased with the result, and I've received some very nice compliments on the piece.  There are numerous other projects in her book that I would like to make sooner or later.

I came upon a lovely bead-woven project that was published in a couple of issues of Beadwork Magazine. It's the Arabella Bracelet, designed by Regina Atkins. I love the twisted bugle beads used in the project, and need I say anything about the pearls?!  Ooooo..... pearls!!

Beads Gone Wild, a bead shop and online retailer based in Florida, came out with a kit that incorporated Tila beads and crystals that absolutely intriqued me, and that I just knew I had to have. The Carnival Bracelet was fun to put together, and I think it's a real stunner. Great job by those designers!

And lastly, I finally began working on a few of the numerous bead embroidery projects that I purchased from Beads East quite some time ago. Having a couple of "snow days" off from work gave me some extra time in my schedule to work on them. I still have many more kits that I purchased from Beads East, which I'm rather eager to get busy with. I am the type of person who really appreciates a bead kit. It's not always easy to find just the right cabochon, focal, or particular bead for a project, so I'm thrilled to have everything put together for me in a kit. That way, I can just sit down and get to work. I find bead embroidery to be a great way to relax and unwind after a day of dealing poker at the casino.

Here are the photos of all the pieces I've mentioned in this post:

Steampunk Necklace ~ Eclectica Beads
Stained Glass micro-macrame bracelet ~ Annika deGroot
Aztec Tiles ~ Class at Artful Bead Studi
Carnival Bracelet ~ Beads Gone Wild
Arabella Bracelet ~ Beadwork Magazine
Dottie Bead Embroidery Kit ~ Beads East
Nan Downing Bead Embroidery Kit ~ Beads East
Silver Streak Bead Embroidery Kit ~ Beads East
I also made a few wire jewelry projects that are featured in the inspiration galleries of the Fusion Beads and Artbeads websites. So, yes, I'm still in love with my hobby and I'm beading whenever possible. I'm very excited about the upcoming Beadfest Wire convention in King of Prussia, PA this coming April. I've already put in for the time off from work. I've registered for workshops at the convention on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I've left myself open for shopping on Friday. Beadfest workshops are loads of fun. I was really disappointed that I had to miss BOTH Beadfests in King of Prussia last year, but again, school and work kept me away. Not this year! I will be there with bells on!

Ok.... time for me to get busy with my next embroidery project, so I'll sign off here. Have yourself a most artful and beadiful day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Art Deco Hurricane Bracelet

Haven't had any time to blog this year, and haven't had the opportunity to do much bead and wire work this year either, but did finally manage to take a workshop this past Sunday at the Innovative Beads Expo in Doylestown, that I really enjoyed. The class was taught by Marti Brown, a wonderful and quite imaginative wire artist. I made this great bracelet using a variety of techniques that included cutting metal sheet, texturing, drilling, riveting, forming, and wire-wrapping. I'm really pleased with the project and I'm likely to wear this bracelet often.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Captured Resin Pendant

I took another fun class this week at My Father's Beads in Coopersburg, PA with the awesome Sue Quinque. Yay! :=) Our project.... Captured Resin. Loved it! We used 16G copper wire to form the pendant and then filled the form with the beads of our choice. Little shells, pearls, metal beads and crystals work nicely with the resin. Here is the piece I came away from the workshop with. I think I made the pendant a bit large.... I guess I got a little carried away with filling up the area of the form?!! Will I ever wear this? Sure... I suppose so. I'm still trying to decide if I should add a few bead dangles to the chain. What do you think?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cutting, Texturing, and Riveting Sheet Metal

Well, I had fun yesterday! I took a class and learned how to cut and work with sheets of metal to which we added texture and riveted embellishments. The only problem I had with the project was not having a plan. My mind draws a total blank when it comes to free-form. Ugh.... I hate that! I couldn't decide what I wanted to make, but I finally settled on earrings and a pendant. Our terrific instructor (a retired Art teacher) had many beautiful examples of these textured and riveted metals that she used to create pendants, earrings, and bracelets. She also had every tool under the sun available for us to use, to encourage our creativity to soar. Her instructional handout was UN-believable.... so detailed... color pictures... EXCELLENT! Loved her! Our kits contained 3 sheets of 3" square metal.... one copper, one nickel silver, and one brass, as well as assorted sizes and colors of rivets and small screws and washers. Who knew riveting was so simple?! You just need a plan!! =) After adding various textures to my metals, I placed all of the sheets in the liver of sulfur solution at the same time. The nickel silver seemed to absorb the brass color almost instantly, and although I used steel wool to shine the nickel silver after the patina, it didn't remove the yellow tone. So, here is what I ended up with after playing around for a few hours. I'm not all that wild about these, but the lesson was great. I'm still deciding whether or not to add the little charms pictured here? I'm not even sure if I will ever wear these, so I don't even know if I want to finish them. In any event... I just thought I'd post and share. =)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Art Deco Triangle Bracelet

This unique bead stitched bracelet was created by weaving circular peyote stitch in a triangular motif. This project took a really long time to entire day!  I have to admit that I do love the bracelet, but wow.... an entire day's work went into this. The design is courtesy of the wonderful artists at my favorite bead shop, Artful Bead StudioArtful Bead Studio has been voted one of BeadStyle Magazine's favorite bead stores. The shop will be profiled in the January 2010 issue of BeadStyle Magazine. Congrats ladies.... you deserve the honor.... and....thanks for being a part of my life!!  

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Starburst Bracelet

Here is a bracelet I completed recently that is one of Stephanie Eddy's designs.  Great design Stephanie.... thank you!!

Innovative Beads Expo: Allentown

I really enjoyed my time at the Innovative Beads Expo in Allentown, PA this past weekend.  Of course, I bought loads of goodies, and spent WAY too much money!  Ha.... no one can blame me for not fueling the economy!!   I am gathering quite a collection of many interesting beads and findings, but it seems as though there isn't enough hours in the day to complete all of the projects that I would like.  Either that, or I'm just too slow.

I spent Saturday at the show shopping for new goodies, and on Sunday, I took a full-day class with an excellent instructor, Meg Fillmore of Bead My Love.  Meg creates some outstanding bead embroidery.  Meg sells kits, which makes choosing beads for a project much simpler.  I'm really pleased with my pendant, and I'm looking forward to wearing it.  The brooch is a gift for my darling mother-in-law's birthday, which is in two weeks.  I'm SO excited to give it to her.  I don't wear pins, nor have I ever made one, though I do have some wire jewelry books with fibula instructions in them.  I really hope she likes it!  As for bead embroidery, my goal is to work my way up to crafting those really gorgeous embroidered cuffs!