Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quick post...

This is going to be a quick post and I will post again later.
Here are the pic's of the finished bracelet:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another day...

     Well, here I am again in front of the computer. I have to topics on my mind , so here goes!

Topic one: Following through.
     I have never been good at following through with projects. I should really say that I don't follow through when I become "disenchanted" with a project. Lately, I have been trying to step out of the box a little in my creative endeavors, use different materials that I don't ususally use, different colors that I shy away from, things like that! I started a project last week that was very bold and colorful and ORANGE. I have never been partial to orange, but I found a wonderful dichroic cabochon that I really liked and decided to give orange a try.

The cab has various shades of orange, yellow, gold, black, and of all colors, hot pink. WOW, really stepping out of the box! Okay, so, gather all of the things you need and start! I got out all of my orange, yellow, gold, red and pink beads and set to work.

I sorted through the colorful confussion and came up with the selection of beads that I wanted to use. I put my selections into 2x2 baggies and set it all out to make my plan!   Ugh! it looks like Halloween!

    Okay, I'll be alright... After the initial shock , I actually started to like the colors. The cab has a sort of "patchwork" pattern,and I thought that it would be cool to do the bead embroidery on the bracelet in the same pattern. WRONG!  I got part way into the pattern and and it was all wrong!  It was too much! The cab is so pretty, I didn't want to overwhelm it with too much "stuff".

So, that got ripped out and I had to regroup.  I decided to go with various stripes of the colors I had picked. I used different sizes of beads to add texture. This worked alot better.

I finished both sides of the bracelet and was less than enthused! It wasn't until I added the last finishing touches that I actually liked the bracelet. I wasn't sure how to clasp the bracelet and then I had a brilliant idea! I added four yellow glass rondelle beads as buttons and made four stretchy button hole loops with black seed beads and Gossamer floss. It looked so cute! Like the cuff of a shirt! I loved it! So my first topic is complete! Stick it out with a project, even if you decide that you hate it. Modify it, fix it, do what ever you have to do, but stick it out. You may be pleasantly suprised in the end! I will post pictures of the finished bracelet tomorrow, which brings me to my second topic: Picture taking tips!

     I wanted to get this topic down because I have had some issues with picture-taking and I want to help anyone who has had the same issues.
     I am a VERY picky picture taker. I will not use a picture unless it is clear and in focus. When I re-opened my shop after about a 8 month break, I had not been taking pictures and I had to re-learn the camera and the way to get good pictures. I have a "picture box". It is really cool. (I'll take a picture of the picture box tomorrow too!) It is made of white parachute-like fabric that light can difuse through. It has blue and grey backdrops, but I have found that the plain white of the sides themselves makes for the best pictures. I was having alot of trouble with lighting too. I have two lights that came with the photo box, but I still seem to get alot of shadow with these. I have found that I get the best pictures if I take them during the day. I set the picture box up by my glass porch door. I use two sides of the box and leave the side to the door open. The light from the door reflects off the white of the picture box and I get perfect pictures!  So thats why I will be posting the other pictures of the bracelet tomorrow! I have to wait for daylight to take the pictures!  So thats all for tonight! As usual, I have stayed up past my bedtime! Goodnight and sleep well, for tomorrow is another day to bead!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

And the weekend comes....

     So here we are, another weekend! For me it still means time to work. Today I worked on a project that I started last week and I want to get it all down here!

Last week I decided that I wanted to do something to help the Japanese people after their horrible tragedy. I dont have money to donate, so I thought of a way to donate time that would translate into money. I am making simple beaded stretch bracelets and selling them in my Etsy shop. I am calling them "Calming the Waters" .

     I am selling the bracelets for 5/$6.00 and $5.00 is being donated to the American Red Cross for the relief effort. ($1.00 to cover the cost of mailing the bracelets!)

I contacted Fire Mountain, Shipwreck Beads and Beadwrangler to see if anyone would be interested in donating beads and supplies for the cause. Lydia Borin of Beadwrangler donated 16 tubes of No. 6 seed beads (About $100.00 worth of beads!) for which I am extremely grateful! (I have yet to hear from the others.)

I am making the bracelets assembly line fashion and I am up to about 46 bracelets. I have already sold one set of 5 and I hope with a little more time and promotion, I will sell more!

     I am feeling good about this project and I hope that it will turn out to be helpful to the effort to assist the Japanese people.


Friday, March 25, 2011

April EBW Challenge!

Okay, so I am slowly getting the hang of this blogging thing! I have a hard time fitting in time to actually sit down and figure out what to put down in writing!  

     I finished my piece for the April EBW Challenge and posted it. Now I have to set t all down here for anyone who is interested! My piece is called "Blush of Spring".  This necklace allowed me to use a lovely piece of serpentine jade that I have been saving for that special project!  I really like to use buttons in the center of donuts, and this Challenge theme gave me the perfect opportunity! I have been saving this donut and this wonderful little "blossom" button, and they came to mind as soon as I saw the theme! I love little white, spring blossoms! I can even smell them just looking at the button! What a wonderful inspiration for a necklace! I used No.6 pearlized white Czech glass seed beads to frame the donut, and continued with white matte  8's and olivine green sol gel  11's to complete the bezel.

  I made this cute little "blossoms" with a center pink
 opal No. 8 seed bead and white Czech glass 11's. (This is the
 same pattern I used for my Shamrock earrings!!)  

I decided to do a spiral rope for the necklace and I used the pearlized white 6's, opaque white 11's and pale pink sol gel 2 cuts. The pale pink of the 2 cuts and the pink "blush of the 6's, fit into the theme so well! I chose gold plated connectors with spirals and gold-plate spiraled end caps and hook and eye. The finished necklace turned out as seen here:

     I am happy with the entry and I hope that it will win the attention of others as well. I love to do pieces like this that are floral and feminine and yet have a bit of boldness! I hope you all enjoy my entry! Happy Beading!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Whats the Story

Well, here I am again! I had a couple busy days and I didn't get to sit down at the keyboard. I will continue with the Tide Pools "tale" tomorrow. I have finished and posted my entry for the EBW Challenge for April. I will take some time tomorrow to get that "tale" organized and posted here. Right now I am talking to myself! I hope that someone will eventually read the blog and maybe get something out of it! It's late and I'm tired, so I will continue tomorrow! Goodnight!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Tide Pools" The Tale-PartII

So, now that we have the cabochon enclosed in a ring of beads, its time to start getting creative. This is when I go back to my color palate. I can chose from different colors, sizes and styles of beads to set off my cab. This is also where I start to define what direction that my work will flow. I usually do not use a "drawn out" pattern to work. I let the beads decide what will happen!. 

This bracelet is called "Tide Pools" and I went with the circular pattern. It reminds me of drops falling on smooth water and the "wave" pattern that occurs. That is the feel that I wanted in this piece. The circles move outward and touch where they meet! The colors also flow together for me and this all worked perfectly with the shapes and colors of  the dichroic cab. Here are a few more pics of the process:


This is starting on one of the sides of the bracelet.
Working with the circle motif.

In this bottom picture you can see a row of clear aqua triangular beads around the cab. I removed those beads later on because I didn't like the way they sat on the fabric. (See the finished bracelet )

This just goes to show that this really is a process and that things can change at any time along the way.  The finished product may not be what you had originally had in mind, but you can be sure that it is usually how it is supposed to be! At least that is the way that I like to think it works! Fun!

Each step of the way , I am learning and growing. Much of what I know about beading I have learned in this way! Trial and error!
When I learn something that works really well, I keep that bit of knowledge for the next time I need it.  I really love it when I learn something that I have never read about or seen anywhere! It makes my work unique and interesting! Life is about learning and beading is a great lesson!


Monday, March 21, 2011

So it begins...

     So here is where all the fun begins.

The first thing that I do when I start a project is choose a focal bead or beads. Here I started with a fabulous dichroic glass cabochon (rounded with a flat back) that I bought a number of years ago on Etsy. I can't for the life of me remember who I bought it from. I would give the person credit if I knew.
This cab is in the colors of green,blue and purple, which leads to the next step in the process. Bead selection! This is the fun part! I go through all of my stash and pull out all of the beads in the color range that I  have choosen. I sort through them one by one to see which ones match and which ones go in the "sort box" to put away later.  I end up with a palate, like a painter (see picture above). I love having all the colorful beads in front of me! I may not use all of the ones on the palate, but I have a selection to work from. So much fun!!!
     Next I select the backing material. I almost always use microsuede. I have a large selection of colors and textures, and I like the weight and feel of it. I am not big of the "stiff stuff" that alot of beader use. I find it too stiff to work with. I like the feel of working with fabric that has some give.
 At this stage the cab is glued (and in some cases sewn, in the case of beads or buttons) to the backing fabric. I let it dry for a little while and then it's time to go to work! The header picture of this blog is the first rows of bead stitching around the cab on the "Tide Pools" bracelet pictured on this page also!
The first few rows of beads around the stone or cab are to stablize it or "set" it in the bracelet. Thats what you see in the pictures here.

  So, these are the begining steps of my project. I love all of this and it is making me want to go work on my present project, but since it is 1:18 in the morning and I need some sleep, I am going to stop for tonight! I will continue with the "tale" tomorrow! Thanks for reading and goodnight!


Well... here we go!

     I am not good as this "expressing myself" thing, but here goes.
I am a Medical Technologist by trade,but have recently become unable to work. This was upsetting to me at first, but then I realized that this is a wonderful time to spend on my creative pursuits! I am a jewelry designer and artist. I LOVE BEADS! I love everything about them (Even the fact that they are everywhere and always falling on the floor!)!
I could not imagine a life without beads! The colors, the textures, what a wonderful medium to play with! I have five new ideas in my head before the last one is done! There is always a project going!

I am going to use the space that I have here to act as a planning and staging area for my work! I will post pictures and info as I go along and hope that you can figure out what I am about! So get ready for some color and some confussion that will all hopefully become  wonderful pieces of jewelry in the end! Thanks for reading and welcome along for the ride!


Check out my "Etsy" site "Elemental Nature Artisan Jewely" at