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

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bead Peeps is having their swap and  hop reveal today. Each participant was given a partner and we exchanged beads with our partner. The pic above is the kit I sent my partner Renetha Stanziano. Her blog is http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com/ please be sure to visit her blog to see what she made with these beads. I enjoyed having her as a partner.
This is what I received from Renetha. Isn't  it a great kit of bead to work with? What a coincidence  we both chose many of the same colors for each other.
The first piece that I created was this shibori silk ribbon bracelet. I have wanted to make one of these for a really long time. Since I received this wonderful ribbon in my kit I knew that it was time. Bead embroidery is my favorite technique to do.  I am thrilled with how it turned out. The silk, lilac glass flowers, purple faceted cabochon, purple pearls, and many of the accent beads all came in my kit.
My second piece was created using the striped lampworked round beads. The color in these is great. I made circular components using herringbone stitch. I learned this technique at a Demo & Do class our bead society has. The technique was taught by Laura Luepke. This fun necklace has a summer feel to me.
For piece number three I did bead embroidery around the gorgeous lampworked focal bead from Renetha. The lampwork was made by Alexandra. I used the rest of the purple pearls and fire polished beads from my kit as accents. The clasp was also in my kit. Matte gold fire polished beads help show off the wonderful color in the lampworked bead. The purple pearl at the bottom of the focal came from a friend of mine who has passed away so this necklace is special to me.
My final necklace has another lovely lampworked bead from my kit. I framed it with the curved gold tubes from my kit plus a few bicone crystals. I used gold wire to make the frame sturdy and to create a bail. I ended the wire with spirals for a little flair. The straps were made on a kumihimo disc using the focal bead colors. I chose cones for the ends. I colored them with patina ink. A gold toggle is used for the closure. I still have lots of beads left to play with including the copper links and another lovely lampworked bead.
I enjoyed being a part of this fun challenge. Thank you to the ladies who put in the effort required to make this hop happen. To see what the other participants created please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/beadPeeps/

Saturday, May 7, 2016

I always enjoy participating in Lisa Lodge's blog hops. Lisa sells us a kit and we create on the theme she suggests. This time it is gentle spring. The colors were soft pink and purple. The first necklace I created used the large pink and small white pearls with the silver spacer beads  for the strap sections. The focal is made with white ceramic large hole rondelles that have pink roses and purple violets. I knew that I wanted to use these flowered beads as soon as the theme was announced.   These are spaced with purple glass rondelles also from Lisa.  The ends  of the center section have silver bead caps and purple fire polished beads. the focal section is strung on wire. A silver toggle clasp finishes the necklace.
I used one of the large pink pearls and embellished it with two hole triangle beads and seed beads to make the focal. A simple pink silk cord holds the pearl. I made a gold clasp from wire for the closure.
Next I made a bracelet from the pink pearls. Pink two hole tiles were used as a base. Two hole pink infinity beads were placed between the tiles. White seed beads and pink bicone crystals make up the embellishment. A seed bead loop and one of the pearls act as the closure for this feminine bracelet that is very spring like.
Necklace number three uses the white pearls with purple fire polished rounds and rondelles. I spaced these with small transparent lilac fire polished rounds. I used two purple glass swirled beads and silver spaces at the center to show off the lapmworked beads which are the focal. A purple stone drop finishes the bottom. I chose a S clasp as the closure. There are earrings to match this necklace.
A right angle weave base is the foundation for this bracelet. The lilac sea glass squares from my kit are the main focus of this piece. Seed bead picots show them off well. Small shiny purple drops embellish the sides. I used a silver toggle clasp for the closure. This bracelet is comfortable and easy to wear.
When I opened my kit the first thing I saw was the pair of lilac curved sea glass pieces. They shouted earrings to me. A white pearl, silver chain, and a shiny purple drop were all it took to make them come alive. These are simple but everyone I have shown them to has wanted them. Thank you Lisa for another fun challenge and hop. To see what the other participants created with the kits they received please go to http://gratefulartist.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fern Daggers is the name of this piece. I took a class from Diane Fitzgerald and learned this technique. She had the ferns suspended from a ladder but I chose to do a spiral rope. I added the crystal rondelles for extra sparkle. I also made earrings to wear with the necklace.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Another necklace that I finished at retreat is "Riding the Waves." This pattern was designed by my friend Jean Erickson. She had the waves go all the way around but I like chain at the back so I altered it. This was fun to create and the color goes well with a lot of my clothes.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring retreat at my bead group was March 17 to the 20th. This is something I always look forward to excitedly. A whole weekend with other beaders, no cooking or interruptions. Heaven. This time I brought unfinished projects. At the top of my list was this pearl lariat. Back in 2013 I saw The Great Gatsby. When I got home I knew I wanted to create a pearl lariat like Daisy would have worn. I have had the strand done for a very long time but the tassels were not done. I finished it at retreat. Yeah. The pearls came from my husband's Mother and Grandmother. Defiantly vintage. One of the packages  was priced 29 cents. I am proud of my accomplishment.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Here is the third necklace for the I wish it were summer hop. Yesterday did not go as planned so I just finished the necklace this morning. I used the stone rectangles and drops as the focus of the necklace. Spaced between the stones are small goldstone rounds, bronze flowers discs, and orange glass discs. I thought that the bronze flowers gave the necklace some needed punch of color, but did not distract from  nor compete with the stones. There are smoky glass fire polished beads at the ends of both strung sections. I made links from the two colors of orange sea glass drops to be the strap sections of the necklace. The wire I used is magnetic copper. This is one of my favorite wires to work with. It is darker and richer than regular copper wire. The coating also keeps the copper from turning green like regular copper does. I also made the clasp from this wire. Each link is joined by two jump rings. I made earrings from the last two drops. I hope that you like my new creation.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Here is the kit that I received from Lisa Lodge of http://www.gratefulartist.blogspot.com/
for today's blog hop. The theme is "I wish it were summer." Aren't the colors yummy? The aqua family is my favorite color to work with. One of the best parts of summer for me is the water. I really enjoy swimming so that is what I used as my inspiration for the first two necklaces that I made.
I used the sea glass barrels, discs, rounds, and fish to look like water. I also used the seahorse and teal glass discs from the kit. I added the pendant, small glass discs, and bead capped pearls from my stash. I like chain at the back of a necklace because it make the necklace lighter to wear and there is nothing poking the back of my neck, so that is how I finished my necklace. I used the two kinds of discs and the sea shells for earrings. I embellished the shells with nail polish and I am very pleased with how they turned out.
The second necklace I called Sea and Sand. The lampworked focal reminds me of the shore. I used two of the lovely crystal rondelles from the kit and two small tan fire polished beads to complete the focal. The gold wire attaches it to a sea glass barrel. Two of the teal glass discs flank the barrel. I had some aqua and white striped small nuggets that looked like water to me and I spaced them apart with tan seed beads. The turquoise bay sea glass teardrops and aqua discs are from the kit. A simple gold toggle clasp is my closure. I have a third necklace almost done that uses the orange stone beads from the kit if you come back this afternoon I will have it posted. Thank you Lisa for another fun challenge. To see what everyone else made click on Lisa's link at the beginning of my post.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bead It Forward is a cause that is dear to my heart. Jeanette Shanigan started the project to honor her mother who died of beast cancer. It has turned into an international project. Beaders from all over the world stitch squares on a theme. This years theme was   “Space: Out there somewhere, there’s a cure”. These squares are assembled into quilts, shadowboxes, ornaments, and other items. These items are auctioned off and the funds go to breast cancer research. The top pic shows the two squares that I stitched this year. I asked the members of my bead group to participate also. The second pic shows the squares that I received. I have joined in this worthwhile effort of 6 years now. My Mom and sister have both had breast cancer so anything I can do to help eradicate this terrible disease I want to. I just learned yesterday that a friend of mine has breast cancer.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Evening Elegance is the title of the blog hop that I am participating in today. It is the brainchild of Lisa Lodge of http://www.gratefulartist.blogspot.com/.  Thank you Lisa for inspiring me. We each received a kit with which to design our creations. The pic above is the kit that I received. 
The first beads that I chose to use were the blue top drilled stone diamonds. They needed to be the focus of a necklace so I spaced them apart with royal blue sea glass rounds and blue stone discs. The necklace is finished with silver chain and the clasp from the kit. I also made earrings to match the necklace. This necklace is simple but very wearable.
Since the hop was called evening elegance I wanted something that felt classic. For this necklace I chose the large dark fire polished rounds and the small Montana blue crystal bicones. I added grey pearls from my stash to complete the center section. The focal uses the two large clear crystals from the kit and a black crystal rondelle from my stash. I again finished the back section  with chain. Chain makes a necklace comfortable and lightweight. A hook type clasp makes the closure. I created earrings for this necklace too.
The  blue and white lampworked beads by Lisa Anderson in the kit just begged to be earrings so I topped them with small cobalt glass flowers, placed a white disc below, and suspended three of the cobalt ovals from the bottom. They look much better when worn that they do laying on a surface. Cobalt blue and aqua is one of my favorite color combinations so I enjoyed designing with this kit. Since the cobalt ovals are drilled front to back I wanted to figure out a way to make them lay with their faces showing instead of just the sides, as they would have if I had strung them. I decided to knot them on waxed linen cording. It took me a some experimenting to get it right but I am pleased with the outcome. I recycled an enameled earring as the focal that is edged with the same cobalt blue as the beads. The small aqua AB rounds make the cobalt glass ovals stand out. I had cobalt bugle beads that I used between the ovals. I hope you enjoyed my creations.  Please click the link above to see what the other designers made.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I made this necklace the last time I designed for http://www.znetshows.com
It did not get posted so I am showing it today. znetshows has wonderful cultured sea glass in a myriad of shapes and they are very affordable. The items from them that I used are P21-B82  bottle curve wide rectangle pendants for the focal, S81-B159 teal tubes for the straps, M0022-AB brass circles, and M0470-AB brass clasp. I added brass chain, brass spacers, turquoise rubber O-rings, and wire from my stash. This necklace suits me perfectly. I hope you like it.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Now for the fantastic news. Lori Anderson of http://www.prettythingsblog.com/ 
has announced that she will again be having the Bead Soup Blog Party. This is my favorite bead exchange. If you have a chance please join in the fun of participating in the fun blog hop.