Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cheerful Button Bracelet

Hello! This week's bracelet is made using some of the most cheerful little buttons I've ever seen. The colors are great and I love how the silver connectors contrast with them. The designer of this bracelet is a blogging friend, Nancy, of "Never Enough Time".

As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to share it with you and she kindly agreed to allow me to do that. In addition to being such a great bracelet, it was created as part of a worldwide initiative that provides an opportunity for fellow arts & crafts bloggers to get to know each other. It is called "One World, One Heart". There are now 785 crafters participating. Considering this is a one-woman show, this is very impressive.

I hope you are all having a nice weekend and getting a little crafting in!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Vintage Star Earrings

It's Friday (yay), which means it's time for this week's earrings.

I noticed these earrings in Teri B's etsy shop earlier this week and they really caught my eye. I love the size of them and the fact they are vintage metal pieces removed from belted chains. I can imagine how cool the belts were!

Using these metal stars as earrings is such a fun and festive idea!! They will certainly get you noticed and bring many smiles, I'm sure of it. Teri mentioned she has them in other colors as well, so here's a link to her shop so you can take a look. Thanks for letting me share these Teri!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bright Red Flower Button

Hi there! I just came across this button and realized I hadn't posted it here before. I love using buttons in jewelry. Large buttons like this are perfect for memory wire bracelets.

It reminds me of those plastic rings you would get at a carnival or out of a gumball machine. How fun! I'm envisioning this one on memory wire with a black band of some kind. Either large, chunky black beads or a band of 6mm fire polished black beads. Yes, I think that might be the one. Well, maybe I need to make it before I can tell which one I like the best.

This came with 2 buttons on the pack, so you could actually make it into a ring if you really wanted to.

Have a good one!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nautical Rope Bead

I thought this bead looked very nautical. It is a dark navy color with a rope-like design in light blue and white. I immediately had thoughts of a crisp navy jacket with rope detailing and a crisp pair of pleated white shorts with deck shoes.

This would be cute wire wrapped as a focal bead and connected on either side to slightly bulky gold-tone chain links. I think a dash of red is necessary to complete the picture. A small solid red glass round wired onto either side of the nautical bead would be nice.

A lakeside vacation to go along with the outfit would be great too!

Have a good one and stay safe out there in this wintery weather!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tassel of Beads

I recently purchased this "tassel" of beads because a friend mentioned she would love to have something colorful hanging from her purse and thought something "like a curtain tassel" would be fun. She had just found a designer bag in a second hand store that was in great condition. A large, but cute pink bag that reminded me of a carpet bag with chains for handles and a pink heart hanging from it.

It suits her personality perfectly which is large and in charge, but also cute and sparkly. After giving it a bit of thought I had to agree some additional sparkle couldn't hurt. I want to make something fun for her that she can't help but smile about.

I found this tassel of beads at Joann's and carried it over to the curtain tassel aisle. The edges of the bag look slightly purplish, so I thought the tassel below would be fun to embellish.

I do enjoy "sewing" with beads, so I am thinking of using some 4mm crystals or even some nice toho beads to sew in a swirling pattern around the top of the tassel. I'd like to figure out a way to use the pink tassel and also add some additional strands of beads hanging around the outer edges.

As always, let me know what you think, I'd love to hear your ideas!! Have a good one! For those of you in the snow belt, I encourage you to take a personal "snow day" tomorrow like I am and do some crafting!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bead with Attitude!

Today's bead certainly has a lot of attitude! I'm not sure if teenagers are still prone to making this statement, but it always makes me think of the valley girl attitude back in the 80's. Okay, I might have said a few "what-evers" myself, truth be told.

I recently checked out a DVD of the old TV show, "Square Pegs", from the library and had a lot of fun watching it. The character played by Tracy Nelson is great, she is the best valley girl by far, like totally! If you ever want to get a glimpse back to a sitcom version of high school in the 80's, this is a good one with lots of great catch phrases! (Like totally different head, totally!!)

Okay, back to the bead...! This bead would make a great pull for a backpack or a cute choker made with sky blue faux suede cord. This is a big hole bead, so you could use a variety of stringing materials. It would be cute in between knots as a focal bead. You wouldn't really even need any other beads, but you could add a couple glass pony beads for a little shine on either side.

One last mention of Square Pegs...In case curiosity has gotten the best of you, You Tube has some great video clips including the appearance by DEVO, yes, D..E..V..O.

Have a good one!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wire Sculpted Ear Pins

Hello! I wanted to share these gorgeous 14k gold filled "ear pins" with you because they are fascinating to me. I've worked with many types of wire before, but nothing as intricate and fancy as these!

You put this in your ear from the bottom up so the intricate wire work goes up the outer edge of your ear and the long "pin" goes up the back of the ear to secure it. See what I mean?...Fascinating!

These earrings are handcrafted and sold by "Dave's Jewelry & Crafts", currently out of Arcadia, Florida. If you are interested in learning more or making a purchase, you can contact Dave at I'd love to learn this technique in person, especially if it requires a trip to Florida!

"Thank you" to Dave & Shelly for allowing me to share these today. It's always a lot of fun to see what others are doing in their little corner of the world!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Swarovski Bead Fun

Hello! This week's necklace is made from the bead I posted about last week. This swarovski crystal bead frame creates a princess-like effect. I ended up using 4mm aquamarine crystals and some 6mm comet argent crystals, in addition to the 8mm aquamarine crystal in the bead frame and some decorative chain.

I wasn't sure a bright silver chain would look nice with this necklace, but I thought the decorative quality matched the details in the bead frame nicely. I hope you will let me know what you think!!

Just in case this has given you the urge to bead, here are a couple links of interest!

Beading supplies
Swarovski Crystal Beads

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pearls and Crystals

I just assembled these earrings so I'd have something new to wear to an event tomorrow. Both the pearl and the large bicone are 10mm, each with a 4mm clear ab bicone on one side. For some reason I greatly enjoy mixing gold and silver tones rather than just going with one or the other. It seems sort of balanced to me. In my earlier beading days, I would have used gold findings and a gold 4mm bicone on either end of these beads since the pearl is sort of gold-toned.

I guess that just happens over time. We might not realize how much we evolve and change our perspective on things in life every day. Sometimes it takes a bit of reflection to realize it. Change is constant and must be embraced. (Okay, I guess I threw in one of my mantras). I find that it helps to remind myself of this especially when new things come my way that I wasn't prepared for.

I hope you all have fun and crafty plans for the weekend! Take care!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happiness is: Sunshine and Dolphins

Hi there! Right off the bat, I must tell you I just couldn't help it! I promise I'll redeem myself tomorrow! I believe it was in the thirties today and things are starting to melt!! The sky was pretty bright and for a brief moment, made me think of the beach.

I once made a sparkly bracelet by wire wrapping 4mm crystal bicones in pastels as dangles on a silver chain. I added one tiny little dolphin charm to dangle from lots of crystals. I loved it and wore it so much that the clasp broke. I was so glad I realized it and fixed it right up. I wore it for two summers, retired it and moved on. Sometimes you just know when it's time for a change.

I hope wherever you are, the weather is a little bit warmer! Take care! If you are feeling the winter doldrums, maybe it's time to get out the sunshine, dolphin and palm tree charms and wire up a sparkly warm day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beaded Doggies

I think you could call these whimsical beaded doggies, "beaded beads". Once the pieces are complete, they can be used as beads on a necklace, pin, earrings or bracelet.

I made the wooden dogs quite a few years ago and just happened to come back across them. I still wear the doggie necklace on occasion.

The crystal dog was just made within the last year. I was playing around with some clear AB swarovski crystals and remembered the old wooden dogs which made me want to give crystals a try. I discovered it was necessary to change the construction because only one head pin would fit through the beads. The original design used headpins going in both directions through the same bead.

Let me know what you think!! Have a good one!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Swarovski Crystal Bead Frame

Hi there! I wasn't sure what kind of bead I could follow up yesterday's crystally creation with, but take a look at this one!! Wow! This is a Sterling Silver Spring Spiral 8mm Bead Frame with Aquamarine Swarovski Crystals from

It just came in the mail today, but I've been thinking of how to use it for the last few days. The great thing about this bead frame is that it has aquamarine crystals on both sides. It would be great in a necklace so you can put it on from either direction and wouldn't make a difference if it would happen to flip over while you are wearing it. It would also be great as earrings, very sparkly from any direction.

Now, here's the best part! It's a bead FRAME! Yes, that means you can sparkle it up by placing an 8mm bicone crystal on the inside. My mind has been reeling with necklace ideas, but now that I have it in person, I'm not sure yet which one to go with. It doesn't need a lot of embellishment around it other than a sparkly bicone inside the frame. Initially, I thought it would be great on a simple chain so the design would really stand out. However, it would be a lot of fun to make some crystally right angle loops on either side of it.

I'm planning to have a finished product by Saturday, so that gives me a few days to work it out. You know, at this very moment in time, if all you have to worry about is which crystal to use in a piece of jewelry, LIFE IS GOOD! Let me know what you think about using either an aquamarine bicone, rose bicone or 2xAB crystal (Ooh, that's a good one) in the frame!

I hope all those crystals have put a smile on your face just as they have on mine!! It's so easy to get carried away with all that sparkle! Have a good one!

Okay, I guess I am on a roll now, have you seen the swarovski Modular crystal? Scroll down a little bit on the swarovski crystal beads page to see it. I would love to see some projects using that bead!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bead Fantasy Ring

Hello! I just had to share this ring with you today. I found it in the bottom of a basket while looking for something else! It's been more than a year since I made it and I feel sort of bad now for being so disrespectful to it! I've been wearing it ever since I found it and I think it is awfully fun and cute!

I remember when I found the book that I copied this design from, I didn't hesitate before buying it, I just knew I had to have it!! The name is "Beautiful, Easy-To-Make jewelry, BEAD Fantasies", by Takako Samejima. I must have spent at least 4 weekends with my nose buried in this book. I hadn't ever seen so many sparkly things before all in one place!

I am so glad I came across this today, it is a very cheerful ring! If you have a few extra minutes, I hope you will click on the link above that will take you to the site for this book and you can look at the first few pages. Believe me, you will be in awe!! After looking at Amazon, I see this author has a 3 additional books in this series as well. Wow!

Here's another view just for fun!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Onion Bagel Bead

I'm not sure why I always see food in beads, it just happens! All you need is a little cream cheese to go along with this one.

This is a nice round bead that is large enough to place at least a 4mm or 6mm faceted round inside for a little shiny sparkle. Black would look nice with a black round in between each "bagel" as well. Or, if you want to go down the "bagel" path. You could place a nice white or cream colored flat round bead inside to represent the cream cheese!

If you like the look of the open circle, using headpins as I did with yesterday's lifesaver bracelet would work too. The only limitations are the ones we set in our minds!

I hope you all had a nice weekend!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lifesaver Bracelet

This week's bracelet is made with the strand of "lifesaver" beads that I found on clearance a couple weeks ago at Michael's. I used the smaller beads in yesterday's earrings. I originally thought I'd be placing crystals in the middle of the circles, but I liked the candy-like effect of the open circle. I ran headpins through each of the holes and made loops on the outside of the beads.

When I first started making the bracelet I used cream colored pearls and had it just about done when I thought it needed a little more contrast with a darker colored pearl. I'd like to have both of them done and place them side by side to decide for sure, but I only have one strand of beads!

Anyway, this was a fun one, I used headpins for all the connectors. I just clipped off the ends and made them into loops. Once all the pieces are done, it's a fun little puzzle to put together.

I hope you are all having a nice weekend!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Exclamation Point Earrings

Yay! It's Friday!!!!!!!! That's a lot of exclamation points, don't you think? I have enjoyed wearing my modern christmas tree earrings that used one of these silver cones and wondered if I could use them with this tiny little circular bead. It seems to resemble an exclamation point!

This is my first attempt, so I'm not sure how I feel about them yet. I like the length and the tiny little bit of sparkle from the 3mm bicone comet argent crystals.

Let me know what you think, I'm certainly open to suggestions!! Thank you and have a GREAT Friday night!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Foot Shaped Bead

Are my eyes playing tricks on me or is this bead shaped like a foot? I was looking through my collection of beads and thought this was a broken bead. When I picked it up I was happily surprised to see that it looked like a foot! I just did an internet search for foot shaped beads and couldn't find anything that matched. I'm sure this came in a bead mix, but I have no idea where or when I bought it.

The hole is through the part of the foot close to the ankle. I'm not entirely sure yet how this one would be best used. Definitely in a humorous piece, that's for sure. This bead is so shiny, but doesn't stand out immediately as a body part, you could sneak it into a design and surprise someone when they realized what it was. Please share any thoughts you have about this one. If I am really seeing things, don't hesitate to tell me that too! Have a good one!

By the way, after reading a comment from yesterday's "buckeye bead" blog post, I thought I had better update it with some additional information about the buckeye for individuals living outside of Ohio. I have added a link to a cute site that sells jewelry that incorporates real buckeye nuts in their designs! I have also added a link to a site for anyone interested in making the yummy chocolate and peanut butter candies that are made to resemble the buckeye.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Buckeye Bead

Today's bead sure looks like a candy buckeye! This is actually a polymer clay bead with a nice shiny finish. I picked some of these up at a local bead shop (Ally Beads) to make a peyote stitch bracelet in Ohio State colors that was encrusted with crystals. The closure was the buckeye with a loop of seed beads to secure it.

This little buckeye bead would also make a cute necklace as a tiny focal bead. For the fans who wear actual buckeyes around their neck, they might like a necklace with lots of tiny buckeyes surrounded by large scarlet and gray beads.

The multiple purposes of beads never cease to amaze me! For those of you in Ohio, any real life buckeyes still in your yard are likely covered in several inches of snow.

I hope you are all staying warm and safe out there! Have a good one!

Buckeye Info:

From the buckeye tree, the nut is actually encased in a spiny outer shell. The inner smooth brown nut was named due to its resemblance to the eye of a male deer. Check out this site for more info.

Here's a cute site that sells jewelry made with real buckeye nuts called "who's nuts"

This link will take you to the Buckeye chocolate company who, of course, makes buckeyes!

Lastly, here is a link to one of the many different buckeye recipes out there.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hematite Hour Glass

This is an interesting shaped hematite bead! It is about an inch or so in length and very shiny! I like using hematite in jewelry with lots of black beads. Its mirror-like shiny quality is a nice contrast.

Because of its size, it would work well as a focal bead on a bracelet. It has sort of an industrial look about it. Mixing it with black rubber tubing and some "hardware" type of beads would be a lot of fun. It would look great with all of the heavy dark clothing and boots that everyone is wearing right now.

Let me know if you have ever used these before or have some other interesting ideas.

Have a good one!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Goldfish Cracker Bead

Wow, you had better be sure not to leave this bead sitting around the kitchen. It might be mistaken for a cracker! Is this the cutest thing or what?

If you know anyone hooked on these snacks, it would make a fun piece of jewelry. Maybe add some popcorn, candy and soft drink beads and it's a snacker's dream come true. I was also thinking these fish beads would be surprising as dangles on a wood or macrame bracelet. Here's a photo of the one I was thinking about. Wouldn't this be cute with a few little fishes thrown in as dangles?

I hope you had a nice transition back into the work week!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pumpkin Seed Beads

Hello! I hope everyone is having a nice weekend! It was definitely a good one for hibernating!

I wanted to share some unique seed beads with you since I know some beaders don't use them a whole lot because they are so tiny. I have done my fair share of stringing LOTS of seed beads and admit it can be tedious at times. It might be necessary to bring out the magnifying lamp!

However, I wanted to sing the praises of these tiny beads for their versatility. Considering their size, they can provide a dramatic impact to a piece even if they are just used as spacers.

I use them in the majority of my strung jewelry to seperate each of the larger beads. It helps to set them off, similar to a knot on a traditionally strung pearl necklace. They can also be used to bring a little sparkle to a piece that uses beads such as pearls or matte glass. They come in just about any color you can think of and quite a few more than you have even imagined.

They come in matte finishes, clear with metallic lining, round, triangles, hex cut (which makes them sparkle as nicely as crystals), rainbow finish, etc. Japanese TOHO beads are highly desirable because they are all uniform. I love the color of these galvanized pumpkin rounds and think they would be great in a design similar to the one posted yesterday, but with a larger bright copper focal bead.

As always, let me know what you think.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Simple Memory Wire Bracelet

This week's bracelet is the one I referenced a few days ago. As I had imagined, it is very sweet and simple. This would be a nice bracelet for young girls. In fact, young beaders could make a slew of them for all their friends at a very minimal cost! Using their friend's favorite colors or school colors would add a nice touch.

I usually know I like something I have made if I put it on and keep it on for a while. If I take it right off, that's a good indicator it doesn't meet my expectations. I'm happily wearing this one and think I'll make a few more for friends. I have some rectangular stones that would make great focal beads too. I posted one quite a while ago and have a bag of them in a variety of browns, black and cream colors.

I hope everyone is keeping warm and toasty this fine wintery weekend! Happy crafting!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blue Sky and Flowers

This week's earrings are made with a large round metal bead that resembles a gorgeous blue sky with sweet summery flowers. If only we were experiencing the sights and sounds of summer....

I previously posted the metal bead and the flower shaped metal bead caps and they happened to catch my eye tonight in the bead box. I've been listening to the Time/Life compilation of 1960's and 1970's songs and have gotten a little stuck on "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and the Papas.

If you ever see a bead like this with a blue sky and palm tree, please let me know!!!

Thanks a million!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tubes of 11/0 Beads

Hello! The work week will soon be coming to a close (yay)! After the last few shorter weeks, working all 5 days is a bit of a transition!!

These beads are the last of my recent shopping trip. The idea behind them was to use them as a band on a one strand memory wire bracelet, using the "bowling balls" as the focal bead for a sweet and simple piece. The two smaller tubes are TOHO beads: "round dyed rainbow grey" and "hexagon silver lined metallic slate". The larger tube is a "brown iris" seed bead mix by Blue Moon beads.

I've made a few attempts, but I think the bowling ball beads need something on either side to set them off a little more. I tried a 6mm swarovski bicone, but that was too large. I'm going to try a tiny little 3mm bicone to see if that is more in proportion with the beads. I still like the idea and when I finally get it to my satisfaction, I'll share it with you in case you are interested.

I hope you are all planning to do some crafting this weekend!! The silver lining to a wintery weekend is no guilt for spending hours crafting! Have a good one!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Last of the Clearance

Another 99 cent package of beads from Michael's....

I bought these at regular price in the summer and made quite a few bracelets with them. I know I posted one of the black ones as a bracelet of the week, but I never posted the "crazy" link bracelet I made for myself with quite a few of these black circular beads. I used large silver jump rings to connect the black circles and then dangled lots of other clear and black circles from them.

If it wasn't so cold out, I'd run out to the car and get it. I'm not sure how it ended up out there... I will add the photo to this post tomorrow as an example of a little bit over the top bracelet made with these circles. I love wearing it, but it does have a life of its own and wants to get involved in everything you do or touch. That's sort of half the fun of wearing it, hearing it bang into things!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

99¢ Cuff Bracelet

Hello! I hope you are not getting tired of looking at all the cool stuff I was able to buy with a gift card at Michael's!!

This cuff bracelet with snaps was in the clearance bin for 99 cents!!! Now that's a bargain and could not be passed up. I kind of like it just as it is, but as a beader, of course I must embellish it in some way!

I am a fan of dangles in all shapes and sizes and am thinking about using some of my most interesting beads, even a few of the "odd" ones! I don't think one or two dangles will work, this one will probably need to be taken to the extreme. Interesting shapes and textures dangling from the entire silver ring would be like wearing a treasure trove!! I don't think you will want to see the silver ring when it's finished, so it will not be exactly clear how the giant bauble of treasures is actually attached.

I've never made something like that before and now am excited to give it a try! I love looking at books with jewelry made from found objects and I know I have plenty of interesting things to use. I'll keep you posted.

Have a great evening!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bowling Balls

Today's beads are another strand from Michael's that I picked up during my recent gift card shopping trip. They were not on sale, but I had to have them. I loved the variety of colors and upon close inspection, they reminded me of a row of balls at the bowling alley. It's been a while since I have been bowling, but I always loved the pretty and colorful ones. Especially the ones that had a marbelized effect.

These 10mm beads would make a nice focal piece using a handful of contrasting colors with just a tiny 3mm bicone between them for some sparkle. Add a 6mm crystal on either side and finish with just about any color gemstone chip for the rest of the band. I'm thinking bracelet...

These are just large enough to use as a single focal bead on a choker with an 11/0 metallic seed bead for the rest of the necklace...very subtle.

I hope you are having a great week so far!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

10mm Bicones

Today's strand of beads is another of my gift card finds at Michael's. This was not on sale, but I had a Joann's coupon for 10% off the entire purchase, so I saved a few dollars overall. I didn't realize they accepted competitor coupons!

These are 10mm bicones in a variety of earth tone colors. I love the contrast and plan to use all of them in the same piece. I just haven't decided what I want to make yet. I had originally thought about using these in a right angle weave bracelet using pearls. I think I'll give it a try!

Have a great evening!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

MORE $1.00 Clearance Items

Hello! I couldn't wait to post these beads, so instead of a bracelet, I wanted to show you the awesomely cool plastic links that I found for $1.00 at Michael's. All of these were in one package and are over an inch long. They sure made me think of the cat's eye glasses of the 1950's that were so popular! You've got to love that look. They had a similar vibe to today's rectangular black glasses that are so popular.

If only I had a bedazzler! I'm not familiar enough with the bedazzler to know if you can bedazzle hard objects or just clothing. Anyway, I know there is a heat tool that you can use to adhere rhinestone or swarovski crystals to a number of surfaces.

Even though these oblong links would look great linked together with silver jump rings, I really think they are calling out to be crystallized! What do you think?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 2, 2009

$1.00 Clearance

Yes, I joined the ranks of the New Year's shoppers today to use a gift card at Michael's. I admit it was sort of burning a hole in my pocket! I received it recently from a very kind and generous fellow crafter and co-worker.

There were $1 bins at the front of the store that had been pretty well picked over, but I was happy with quite a few of the items still left in the bottom. This $1.00 item was labeled, "Organics, 7 piece semi precious beads". I love the different sizes and the colors are so creamy. One of them reminded me of a butter rum life saver, yum!

These are very sweet and would make the perfect bracelet. I'm thinking about using varying sizes of crystal rounds inside each bead. However, I do have some 4mm bicones in earth tones. I just got out my tools and supplies, so we'll see what happens.

Have a crafty weekend!! I'll show you some of my other great finds in the next few days. I'm EXCITED!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sweet Creamy Caramel

It's been a while since I related a bead to food or candy, but considering all of the extra helpings of both that I have had in the last week, it's a good time to do that!

This is a pretty small bead, and of course, I love that it is a cube! It does make me think of smooth, sweet and creamy caramel! It would work well with some tiny gold plated or filled rounds and some milk chocolate color beads. That's a great combo in candy or jewelry!

I hope you had a great holiday!!