Sunday, February 26, 2012

Playing With Wire


My daughter and I are fascinated with wire.  We’ve been playing with it for weeks, finding out what it can do and what we cannot force it to do.  This week, in addition to our experiments, we made three projects.  I don’t have pictures of my daughter’s projects, but here are mine.

First, we made a butterfly out of wire. It was pretty easy, just some spirals wired together.  We used Beadsmith silver craft wire, 18 gauge, wrapped with 24 gauge.

wire buterfly

Then we made simple rings with some beads.  I used 3mm Swarovski crystals in turquoise with 21 gauge copper wire.  The lesson we used is called 3-Bead Hammered Ring, but I used 5 beads in mine.  This was the first time that I hammered a ring to make it harder, and we were both surprised at how much harder the metal got!

turquise ring

Then, we made a ring called The Wave.  This one gave me some difficulty.  The instructions were great, but I think it’s a little above my level right now.  My ring definitely doesn’t look like the one in the tutorial, lol.  But I’m wearing it, so it’s not that bad.  I managed to make it the right size, and to smooth out all the ends inside so that it isn’t scratchy on my finger.  I used Beadsmith square craft wire, 21 gauge, in silver and antique bronze.

wave ring 2

Now I’m going to try making a beaded rosette.  My boyfriend’s sister wants an ohm symbol, and she wants it to be round.  I found a really nice picture of one, and I have the Easy Bead Pattern software, so I put it in there.  It’s a free program, check it out. 

First I tried peyote stitch, but none of the shapes in the picture were coming out correctly, so I switched over to rosette stitch.  It looks great, but I’ve never done this stitch before.  It’s kind of like bead embroidery, done in circles.  I’ll give it a try and see what happens.  It looks like I’m going to have to use a million beads, though.

What do you have on your beading table?

Cat  Cat face

Monday, February 20, 2012

Busy Day


Red Czech Tile braceletAfter losing my muse for such a long time, I’ve been back in the mood with a vengeance the past few days.  I finally finished my Czech tile bracelet, and I love it!  Beside the tiles, I used some reddish Czech size 11 seeds, gold size 15 seeds, and 4mm gold Swarovski pearls.  It’s too big for me, though.  I always do that when I make bracelets.  I underestimate the size of the clasp.  Plus I have a very small wrist.  Oh, well, it’ll either be given away or sold, and I’ll make myself another one.  I want to try and write down the thread path I used, also, so that I don’t forget how I made it. I added a magma color Swarovski heart to the clasp.  It matches the red in the beads perfectly.

I’ve also made a few pairs of earrings.  I made the ones with the green Swarovski margheritas that I’ve been planning to make.  I also made two other pairs.  One is made with some black and gold wooden beads that I found at the bead shop, and the other is made with a milky white pair of beads that was in their bead soup mix, so I don’t know what they are.  They’re kind of hard to see.  I couldn’t get a good picture of them, even using a dark background.  I’ll try again tomorrow outside, maybe that will help.

Swarovski Green DiscSwarovski with Gold and Black earringsSmall White Swirl earring

I’m so glad to be beading again and enjoying it!  I missed it so much.  Maybe having my new wallboard helped me out.  It really does make me feel like I have a little studio, even though everything is really in a small 4x3 foot space in the corner of my bedroom.

Well, I’m going to get back to beading while I’m still in the mood for it!  Maybe I’ll have some more pictures in a few days.

Cat  Cat face

Sunday, February 19, 2012

More Storage



Look what my boyfriend put up for me yesterday!  Lots more storage!  My neighbor was giving away the pegboards, and we got a beginner set of hooks and storage stuff at Lowes.  Isn’t this cool?

I can hang everything up where I can see it easily, and get to it quickly.  He is so good to me.

Now I just need to see which hooks and accessories I use the most so that I can buy more of the ones I like.

And on the bottom right, you can see my current work in progress, a Czech tile bracelet which I will hopefully be finishing today and have pics to show soon.

Cat  Cat face

Thursday, February 09, 2012

A Bargain at Any Price


Head on over to Jen’s blog, The Cheeky Kea, to find a good short read.  She tells us why buying handmade jewelry (handmade anything, really) is such a great bargain!

It’s a good thing we all love what we do, because very few of us are going to become millionaires from it.  I’m happy if I can just keep buying more supplies.

Speaking of supplies on hand, since I’m sharing links today, Operation Tackle That Bead Stash is a great blog that does exactly what it says.  Sarah helps you to use up the supplies you already have before you go out and buy more. (well, except for those times when you really can’t hold yourself back, haha)  And even gives you a chance to earn prizes while using up your stash!  Plus there’s great eye candy from some very talented beaders.  If you haven’t visited yet, you should check it out.

Cat  Cat face

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Finally, Some Prototypes


After all my agonizing, I did finally come up with a couple of things to do with my tile beads.  I’m still experimenting, but the more I work with them, at least I’m learning which thread paths are possible with these.

diamonds bracelet2The first one I made is part of a bracelet.  You don’t want to see the earlier attempts that got me here. Eye rolling smile  But at least I ended up with something I like, and I may even embellish it some more if I can figure out how.  Here is what the piece of it looks like so far.  Not too bad.beaded bead

Then I attempted a beaded bead inspired by Anna Elizabeth Draeger’s bangle bracelet design in the latest B&B.  This is actually embellished cubic RAW.  The cubic RAW is Anna’s, the embellishments are mine.  I think I’ll be taking this one apart.  It doesn’t seem very useful.  I’ll wait awhile though, you never know.  I may need a rectangular bead for something.

I know the pictures are phooey.  That’s the problem with having my photo studio downstairs, and having to set the whole thing up every time I use it.  I never get down there and do it.  I just go for the quick pic upstairs on the bead mat.  I can be so lazy sometimes.  Oh, well, you still get the idea of what I’m working on.

I like working with these beads better than I do the Tilas, though.  The walls are thicker, so I don’t have to worry about them chipping when I make multiple thread passes.  And I like the Picasso finishes.  I don’t like the ones I’ve seen that appear to be metal-finished.  They look like someone gave them a coat of metallic spray paint, and it doesn’t look like it will last very long.

Cat  Cat face

Monday, February 06, 2012

Where’s My Muse?


Aaaack!  For days I’ve been playing around with my new Czech two-hole beads, trying to make a bracelet design.  Except nothing is working out.  Every design seems to look good in my head or on paper, and then when I start fiddling with the beads it just doesn’t look like what I’d imagined.  Or it doesn’t hold together firmly.  Or it looks like a design I’ve already seen.  I love these beads!  I want to make something with them so badly.

I guess I really only have a few choices.  Keep fiddling around and see if something useful comes out of it.  Move on to another project until my mind clears, and bring these beads out another day.  Buy a Tila project and work on it to get my juices started. 

I’ll probably end up doing all of those things.  Smile with tongue out   Right now I just feel desperate and frustrated.

What do you do when you want to use a particular bead or type of bead but it doesn’t want to cooperate?

Cat  Cat face