Thursday, July 30, 2009

Found a New Bead Shop Near Me!

OMG, OMG, OMG!! I found out about an AWESOME bead shop that's near me because of a jewelry forum that I belong to. People were posting in the forum where they were from, and after reading my post, someone told me about a couple of bead shops that were near my residence. This was yesterday. Today, I jumped in the car and off I went to check out the drive. NOT BAD! I'm happy so far. I open the doors to the shop and I immediately fall in LOVE! Oh my.... they had LOADS of jewelry all over the shop, and of course, beads, beads, and MORE beads. What a place! This shop has LOADS of classes that I wanna take! I've been on the fence about bead weaving, but I have to admit that after seeing the woven work posted by many designers, I decided that I'd like to learn to weave. The more techniques in my repertoire, the better, right? I signed up for a macrame bracelet class that they are offering in mid-August. The bracelet is really beautiful in person! They have a macrame necklace class too. I may have to sign up for that one so I can have matching sets. :) There's a "Peacock Feathers" bracelet class, and a "Beaded Tennis Bracelet" class that I'd like to take too. The bracelets are SO pretty! A spiral stitch class is on the their schedule for this Saturday afternoon, and I think I'm gonna jump on in if there are still seats available. SOOOO excited!!! Happy day! :0)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Always a Lady Necklace

I have to admit that I check my horoscope each day just for the heck of it. I like to see if it’s accurate. I think today’s horoscope is spot on since it reads:

Every good tailor knows that the tiny things make a garment fit like it was, well, made for you. All that care and attention will take a simple piece of clothing and turn it into a statement. There’s something in your life right now that deserves that same kind of care and attention when it comes to even the smallest components.

I just completed this beauty last night! The necklace is comprised of black onyx beads with a gold-filled wire-wrapped component boasting Swarovski bicones and pendant crystals in jet. I’m getting some good practice with wire-wrapping. I’m very pleased with how this piece turned out and I’m excited to wear it!

Always a Lady

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Going in Circles Necklace

This necklace is the very first piece that I've crafted that included using Liver of Sulphur (LOS) solution to patina the metal. All of the sterling silver (SS) head pins used for wire-wrapping the pearl bead units, and the SS toggle clasp needed to be darkened to match the gunmetal chain. Other than the funky smell of the LOS, the patina process was simple and quick to do, much to my surprise. I happened to be reading one of my jewelry making books this week and came across a section that discussed using LOS to patina various metals. I'm glad I read the book because the author noted something about the use of LOS that I had not previously known. You can not patina silver and copper at the same time. Well, I actually did this my very first time using the LOS because I was unaware of this. I noticed a difference in the LOS solution the second time, when I darkened only SS components. So, I learned a valuable lesson with this project, and I'm thrilled with my new necklace. I adore the luster and beauty of freshwater pearls (FWP) and I love the combination of pearls and gunmetal in this piece. Thanks again to Fusion Beads for the sweet inspiration!

Wire-Wrapped Beaded Cuff

Wire Wrapped Bead Cuff

I enjoyed a class this past Sunday afternoon at my local bead shop, where we made this wire-wrapped beaded cuff bracelet. The pattern for this piece carries the same concept as the bracelet in my Gravatar, which I crafted back in April. The April workshop was terrific, but I certainly need practice. I was so thankful to have another face-to-face lesson.... and at a fraction of the cost of the previous workshop. I now feel much more confident in my ability to make more bracelets like this. And make more I shall! I'm patiently waiting on an order of half-round wire and a pin vise so I can get started.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Just completed my first Italian Mesh Ribbon piece! The necklace features a ceramic Marsha Neal Studio pendant and ceramic beads. I love the look of the wire lace mesh. It adds a nice dash of femininity to the piece.

Embellished Brass Filigree Finding

There are 31 crystals wire-wrapped onto this filigree finding. It took me a few days to finish this piece. As I worked on it, I wondered if I was even going to like the finished product. I had my doubts. Now that's it's complete, I am pleased with the result and I look forward to wearing this beauty, since purple is my favorite color.

I am uncertain if I will be eager to embellish filigree once again with little beads, as I learned from this project that the technique is a bit tricky and time consuming.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Five Minute Stack of Sparkle Ring

Last night before going to bed, I decided to put together a ring that I'd been wanting to make. I love Karla Schafer's Stack of Sparkle ring so much that I made it in several colors. The first time I made it (using 20g gold craft wire), I completed it in only five minutes! I was stunned!! Only five minutes to bling bliss?! You betcha! Last night's attempt took me much, much longer than five minutes, however. It took me six times before I finally got the ring right. I was trying to make sure that the crystal square ring and the rondelle were really tight against the 20g copper wire base because the square piece moves if it is not secured. The tighter I tried to make the beads against the wire, the more loose they became!!! I finally realized on the sixth try that my attempts were futile, and that I should just focus on securing the top wrap firmly. Thankfully, it only took me..... five minutes.

My project this evening is an embellished filigree piece. I am in love with the Vintaj brass components! The color is a nice change, and you can get really creative with the findings. At the Innovative Beads Expo I attended in Allentown, PA, the folks at Kabela Designs were showing pieces embellished with beautiful paint colors. The pieces were GORGEOUS! I may just have to splurge on some of that paint at the next Expo, which is only a couple of weeks away!

Hopefully, I'll be posting my completed embellished brass filigree piece tomorrow or the day after. Until then.... happy crafting!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New to Blogging

Well, this is it. Today, I've taken the plunge into the blog world. Late bloomer, I know.

I've been learning to create handmade bead and wire jewelry during the past year. I've taken a number of workshops at my local bead store, and at nearby bead conventions. I now own just about every current jewelry-making title on Amazon's list, and I've successfully gotten hooked on the craft, although I was never a crafty individual at any point in my life.

During my learning process, I've realized that almost all handmade artists have a blog of some sort, so I decided that, I too, should make an effort to participate in the blog world. Many of the blogs I've come across have inspired me. If I can inspire someone through my blog, then I've done something worthwhile.

Pictured here are the Leaf Drop earrings that I completed just last night. Not the best wire work, I know. Three months ago, I took the Leaf Drop Earring workshop offered at Bead Fest Wire by the very talented and knowledgeable Lisa Claxton. I only had enough time to complete one earring during the workshop, and crazy as it sounds, I didn't complete the second earring until just last night! I really like Lisa's design and it is my intention to perfect my technique as I continue to make more of these components. We'll see how I fare.

I've got loads of projects sitting on my bench currently. That makes me very happy! Now, it's time to get busy and have some fun.