Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I was lucky enough to get one of Toho's kits at the Bead and Button Show last summer. We were instructed to make something using only the beads from the kit plus a focal. Most people make necklaces from their kits but I wanted to do something unusual. I chose a flapper style headband.  In the kit were size 11 & 8 matte turquoise seed beads, size 11 & 8 chartreuse seed beads, size 15 & 3mm magatama in dark metallic green, size 15 dark bronze seed beads, size 11 copper seed beads size, 8 transparent dark amber AB seed beads, size 11 dark blue metallic AB seed beads, Aiko dark coppery red seed beads, 8mm dark bronze rounds, 6mm dark bronze quadra tiles, dark bronze 3/10mm daggers, and 6mm chartreuse 2 hole triangles. I used almost all of the different kinds of beads in my headband.  The pics above show what I came up with. I hope you like it. Thank you Toho for letting me join this challenge. I had fun.To see what the others made click on this link http://teamtoho.net/challenges-and-contests/2016-toho-challenge/

Friday, October 28, 2016

French Countryside

It's time for another challenge. The theme this time is French Countryside. The hostess is Lisa Lodge of  http://gratefulartist.blogspot.com/2016/10/french-countryside-blog-hop-link-list.html
I enjoyed the colors that were in my kit. French countryside makes me think of flowers so that was the inspiration for this set. I used patina to color the pendant, link, and clasp flowers lilac to help them stand out. The necklace uses the green crystal rondelles, clear crystal bicones, black rounds, and purple fire polished beads in a repeating pattern. The bracelet features the large black flat sea glass shapes with a purple lucite flower center.  The rondelles and bicones space the sea glass shapes apart for definition. The earrings have a pair of the black sea glass bicones at the top with a clear bicones and green rounds. The dangle is a pair of the purple flowers which I used in the center of the bracelet lucite flower. To me this set says springtime in the country. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed making them. To see what the other participants made please click on the link above. Thank you Lisa for another fun challenge.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Maria Rypan taught weekend workshops at the Upper Midwest Bead Society at the beginning of August. This is one of the necklaces that I made from her kit. It is called 3 color X. I added the crystals from my stash. I am pleased with the outcome of this piece. I hope you like it too.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

ZnetShows New Arrivals Blog Hop

Znetshows.com has some new arrivals that they wanted us designers to feature today. The first piece that I designed was a necklace using the stack set in cherry red. It is item #PMX11-B05 and here is the link so you can purchase a stack set if you would like http://www.znetshows.com/Stack-Set_c_2083.html  I put graduated white Znet pearls between the  cultured sea glass pieces and made them into links. I then added some hematite rounds for accents and suspended it all from gold chain. This design shows that it does not take a lot of beads to make an impact.
My second item is a bracelet. The znet product is the button clothing in royal blue. The link to find it is http://www.znetshows.com/Button-Clothing_c_2079.htm . I used wire to put 6mm olive cultured sea glass rounds item # S04-B22 flanked by silver peanut beads through the button holes. The wire attaches it all to silver curb chain. In this design I wanted the clothing buttons to be the feature so I kept the design simple.
If you would like to see more of znetshows new arrivals please click this link http://www.znetshows.com/New-Arrivals_c_821.html
I am honored to be a part of the znet shows design team again. I really enjoy getting to work with their fine products and it it wonderful to have a chance to be the first to have the new items to design with. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sunny Days is the theme of today's hop hosted by Lisa Lodge. My kit contained the sea glass and brass rose beads. I added the vintage yellow flowers which I got at CJS Sales in New York last year to help give it a summery look. I also added the golden shadow crystals for sparkle and the small pearls for texture. Even though this is not a color I work with often I am pleased with the outcome of this necklace and earrings.

Necklace number two also has sea glass from my kit. This time it is yellow coin shaped beads. I wanted them front and center so this is the idea that came to me. I spaced them with aqua fire polished rounds and aqua curved daggers also from my kit. Then I added pale yellow crystal rondelles. Gold curb chain finished the back part of the necklace. Yellow is the hardest color for me to work with. When my sister turned 70 I wanted to make her a necklace. She said that yellow was her favorite so I made her a yellow and light blue necklace. I liked it so well that I have used the yellow and blue color combination many times since. Those two colors seem to play well off each other. The sunny yellow really does speak sunny days to me. Here is a list of the other designers so you can see more lovely creations from this hop:

Your hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Rosee Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyns Creations
Thank you Lisa for hosting  another fun hop.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I had the chance to design for www.znetshows.com again. The emag that they publish is called Creative Spark and the summer 2016 issue is now out. The link to see it is https://www.joomag.com/magazine/creative-spark-summer-2016/0401388001464874914?short
Znet is a wonderful company to design for. They are generous with their supplies. The supplies are very good quality and quite affordable.
This issue has six of my necklace designs. Four of them have earrings too and one has a bracelet also. They asked us to also do something that was not jewelry related so I made a metal treasure box topped with polymer clay that has sea glass tube beads and crystals embedded. The pic above is my favorite from this set of designs. I used a porcelain pendant, royal blue sea glass diamonds, royal blue sea glass tube beads, and white pearls to make this necklace. All of the supplies except the clasp are from znet. A simple gold toggle is the closure. It is on page 76 of the magazine.
The second necklace also uses the royal blue sea glass tubes. They are part of the straps. I used a royal blue sea glass ring to make the focal. It also has royal blue sea glass squares and white pearls. Gold chain finishes the straps. I like the feel of chain on my neck and it keeps necklaces lightweight. I created the clasp from wire. It is on page 77 of the latest Creative Spark magazine.
This necklace uses sea glass tubes too but this time they are spring green. I interspersed them with large navy blue pearls and white opal 4mm bicones for the straps. The focal was created with 3 antique brass rings wired together forming the base. The spring green marquis shaped sea glass were wired on top of the base.  Brass wire embellishes the top of the marquis. The clasp is an antique brass toggle which I purchased from www.znetshows.com  
 I also created earrings to match. This set is on page 79 of the magazine.
I wanted to use the sea glass tubes as more than just straps so this design happened. I created a wire frame and wrapped rows of the tubes to make the focal. Crystal bicones and seed beads are the bottom accents. The color opaque blue opal is one of my favorites so I am pleased with this design. I spaced the tubes with pacific blue rounds. The closure is an s hook clasp and jump ring in gold. This necklace appears on page 78 of the magazine.
Tiny 3x3.5 crystal rondelles are a new item for znet so we were asked to design with them to show people what they could do with them. Since they are so small I did not want them to get lost in my design. I started with a gold filigree piece and made crystal and seed bead dangles to show them off to their best advantage.  The color is opaque blue opal again. Gold curb chain is the straps and a hook clasp is the closure. I also made delicate earrings to match. This set is on page 48 of the magazine.

When the new double hole flat freeform pendants were offered to design with a design popped into my head immediately. I could see one of them used as a two strand bracelet focal, so this design was born. I used pacific blue sea glass rounds and white pearls flanked by more of the opaque blue opal tiny crystal rondelles. I could also see a necklace focal with the double hole pendants hooked together. Out came the jump rings and this necklace happened.  Simple gold toggles were used as clasps for the necklace and bracelet. Since I had a necklace and bracelet I needed earrings to complete the set. This set is on page 92 of the magazine.
My last design for this issue was my treasure box. It was created with polymer clay. I embedded the spring green sea glass tubes and the opaque blue opal tubes on the edge. The tiny crystals were embedded in the center section to give it sparkle. After it was baked I applied a shiny finish coat. It appears on page 80 of the magazine. This completes my designs for the summer 2016 issue of Creative Spark. There are 23 designers besides me featured in this issue. It really is inspiring to see so much talent and so many unique designs. I recommend that you check out this link https://www.joomag.com/magazine/creative-spark-summer-2016/0401388001464874914?short

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Black and white is the theme of today's challenge.  Another fun idea from Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures. Thank you Lisa. My first necklace used the large black pearls and small white pearls from my kit for the straps. The focal is made from a pair of vintage earrings from a friend who has passed away. I took off the clips and used wire to fasten them together. Since there are rhinestones around the center pearl I used one link of rhinestone cupchain between them. A white pearl drop hangs on the bottom. Coiled black wire is the bail. Gold seed beads give it some depth and make the white pearls stand out. A gold toggle clasp is the finish. I will wear this necklace with pride in remembrance of my friend.
Keeping with the black and white theme I wanted to make a necklace that was more white since the first one was more black. I chose a white carved shell flower  from my stash as my focal. I used the large white pearls and small black faceted rounds from my kit for the straps. A gold hook clasp is the finish. This necklace is simple but it can be worn with so many of my outfits.
I have had these agate rectangles for a long time. The small white pearls from my kit were the perfect addition to make this bracelet in the black and white theme. I hope that you enjoyed todays jewelry. Please go to http://gratefulartist.blogspot.com/2016/06/welcome-to-2016-pine-ridge-treasures.html