Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wire, Glass & Pearl Bracelet

In this week's bracelet, 22 gauge coated copper wire in the color "brown" was used to connect the beads. It has been quite a while since I used wire in a design and I happened to have one of those "accidental" design moments.

I reached into a container holding all my various types of wire to find a cut piece that I could use to temporarily arrange these beads. It just so happened I pulled out a brown piece of wire. Originally I wasn't sure these colors related well to each other, but there was something about the wire that seemed to pull them all together. I continued to doubt this arrangement until I was about half way through and began to feel the love.

I don't know if there are any real mistakes in jewelry making. There are as many different tastes and styles out there as there are beads!! Everyone has a unique style all their own. It happens to come out much easier when you allow yourself to step into unfamiliar territory and create things you don't normally see in the mainstream.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Swarovski Frame Ring

It's Friday!! This week's featured design is from the creative team of ChezChani. I came across their peyote ring with the swarovski frame while looking through their Etsy shop. The swarovski frame and combination of colors gives this ring an art deco feel. I really couldn't pass up the chance to share it with you!!

They also have a peyote stitch ring with a swarovski cube as the focal bead...I love it!! Any time I see things like this that give me a few goose bumps, I always wonder, "why didn't I think of that"!? These are gorgeous pieces and clever ideas!!

Thanks to ChezChani for allowing me to share their work with you!!

So, let's get ready to bead, the weekend has officially arrived!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Red Domino Dangle

Today's bead is a very cute little dangle bead in the shape of a domino! It would be adorable if you had a hundred of these dangling from a jump ring bracelet. I don't know if I have ever played dominoes before so I'm not sure if there is any significance to them being red. Maybe it's just for fun.

I have, however, lined up a bunch of dominoes just to knock them down. There is something intriguing about that process. I wonder how many people are setting up dominoes right now for the sole purpose of knocking them down? Interesting concept when you really think about it! I can understand how you could get hooked on it though. It involves a bit of strategizing and a bit of rebellion! The more I think about it, the more I wish I had a set of dominoes to play with!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blingety, Bling, Bling

You know, I must admit I get a kick out of making up words and using them as if they are real words. Most people are polite and don't mention it, but usually, I crack under the pressure of trying to keep a straight face. So, "blingety" might not be a real word, but the sparkle made me do it!

Today's bead is quite blingety! It's a 6mm light aqua 4-hole swarovski component. I thought it would make a cute beaded ring or a tiny choker pendant for the conservative jewelry wearer. I believe I paid 50 cents for each of them at a bead shop, but I would bet you could find them online for quite a bit less if you are using them in larger quantities than 1 or 2 at a time.

Let me know if you have an example using these components that you would like to share. Have a blingety evening!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Colorful Crackle Hearts

I love crackle beads for some reason. It seems to be for the same reason I like faceted and cut crystal beads...the glassy sparkle! Just in case you aren't familiar with crackled glass beads, they are made by immersing the glass into cold water while still in its molten form. Once cooled, it is reheated and covered with another layer of glass before being formed into a variety of shapes.

I posted the red version last year and had made it into a simple pendant with a silver bail and ball chain. It was predictable, but still kind of sweet!

I liked the interesting color mix today's beads provide as a group and was thinking they seem sort of beachy. The green and blues are reminiscent of water and the brown-ish heart could be the sand! Are you with me?

Okay, that might be stretching it just a bit, but I would like to do something unique with these. Since they are sort of heavy, I'm not sure using them as dangles in a bracelet would be practical. I'm thinking of a necklace on a small open-link silver chain. Using each of these as dangles very close to each other, almost as a focal piece, seems like it would be festive! I was thinking of making dangles out of an abundance of swarovski rounds and bicones in the same colors.

As always, I would love to hear some creative ideas!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mother of Pearl Square Cutout

Today's bead is just under one inch square which I thought would make a fun bracelet focal bead. I just need to find the perfect bead to place on the inside. The hole is drilled down the center of this square. I usually like to place crystals inside bead frames like this, but it is so large, I want to try something different.

A large gemstone round in browns and other earth tones would stand out nicely inside this bead. If there is room for multiple strands of beading wire to be run through the focal bead, it would be fun to twist 3 strands of small rounds in light earthy colors for the band.

Okay, now I'm reverting back to wanting to use a large crystal...maybe even a large cube inside the cutout. A 10mm swarovski cube in clear with a 2x ab finish would be cool. However, I'm not sure if the 2xab is made in a cube....I better check that out!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Egyptian Bling!

Hello! The weekend is winding down and when that happens, I always seem to need a little bit of bling to cheer myself up!

I took an unplanned, but always fun, trip to a local bead shop Friday just to look around. I didn't have any specific purpose for stopping, so I told myself I would only buy something that really stood out.

I'm not sure why I even stopped at the Egyptian Crystal section because I always get stars in my eyes! I have many sizes of clear, round egyptian crystals since I can't seem to pass them up. I guess that's why I thought I was safe. I already have some of those, so what's the harm..?!

Well, they had a couple of things I hadn't seen there before... The ones I ended up buying were ten Egyptian Crystal Drops, 10x20mm.

So, here's the plan... I'm making earrings from these later tonight for 5 people. Yes, as usual, I'm one of the recipients... A pair for my mom, her friend and my crafting buddy, a beading friend, and one of my coworkers. So, hey, at least I have a plan! I want to have these dangle simply from one swarovski bicone or round in a color that each of these individuals is partial to. For my mom, a light green (at her request). For me, light aqua or black, not sure yet.

I hope these give you just a few stars in your eyes too for a Sunday night! Have a great week!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Choker Challenge

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! In last Sunday's post I mentioned that I was challenging myself to combine some of my many grab bag beads with one of the remaining choker cables. After I made that challenge, I had a moment of concern, wondering if I could pull that off!!

I had a lot of fun working on this here and there during the week and, yes, I believe this is certainly a unique outcome, but I was feeling a vibe with it, so I kept going! Let me know what you think!

The only pieces that weren't in the grab bag were the pieces of chain. I used the 15" gray/silver choker with magnetic clasp, flower petal-like beads in green and yellow, along with light green faceted drops and a white faceted triangular drop.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank Jill Milan of Jewelry Elegance by Jill for listing me as a recipient of the Marie Antoinette award. Similar to the Lemonade award, it is suggested that a number of blogs you enjoy reading should be listed. So, here are a few more blogs and/or etsy shops that I enjoy browsing:

The Beading Gem's Journal

The Blue Buddha Boutique for some jaw dropping chainmaille work

Chezchani and I love browsing her etsy shop

Gorgeous work in DelpfineWelch's Etsy Shop

Perfectly Twisted Jewelry

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vintage Reworked Earrings

I came across these earrings recently and loved their vintage character. Many of you are probably familiar with the talented designer who made these earrings, Barbe St. John, of the Etsy shop, "Saints & Sinners". On this site, her work is titled, "New Treasures from Forgotten Artifacts". It's great to see these miscellaneous pieces and parts find new lives in her fun and creative jewelry!

I am a huge fan of treasure hunting through flea markets, garage sales and antique shops and always stop when I come across jewelry boxes!! However, recycling vintage jewelry items has never been my strong suit which is probably why I am in awe of people who have this kind of creative vision!

The description on these earrings reads:
Vintage Reworked Earrings - This pretty pair of earrings is glamourous enough to wear on your wedding day or anytime you want to feel extra feminine. Vintage enamel floral pieces with vintage pink faux pearls and rhinestone beads hang on 14kt GF earwires. These are just shy of 1 1/2 inches long. One of a kind and can not be duplicated.

Very cool! My thanks to Barbe for allowing me to post these!!

By the way, you might also recognize Barbe St. John as the jewelry making editor of the Craft Gossip Blog Network. You can catch up with the work she is doing on any of the sites below. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tattoo Jewelry

I thought you might enjoy this tattoo jewelry I bought last week when I was visiting a store called Yankee Trader during my lunch hour. I walked over to get some inspiration and cheer and couldn't resist them. This store carries party supplies for any theme or occasion, costumes, magic tricks that you see in the back of comic books, every possible pencil topper and smiley everything! LOTS of fun!!!!

Each package of tattoo jewelry included a ring, bracelet and choker. They are made to fit snugly so they resemble tattoos when worn. Here's the best part, each package was only 25 cents!! I also bought some great temporary tatoos with peace signs, smiley faces, flowers and stars which I shared with all my co-workers for some much needed levity!

I was thinking about embellishing these pieces with beads! (I'm sure you saw that coming!) I had originally thought I could run the choker cables through them and hang all kinds of crazy things from it. I'm now thinking I gave up too easily when it wasn't working as I had imagined!!

If you have any great ideas for embellishing these, let me know!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Psychedelic Bead

I'm still listening to the Time/Life Flower Power CD's and loving them. There are so many songs that I can't seem to get enough of and listen to them over and over again!

This bead made me think of a song that I've been hooked on recently and always makes me smile. "Time has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers is such a great 60's song, with a bit of a stereotypical "psychedelic" sound and rebellious edge. Truthfully, I had heard this song many times before, but never appreciated it. My favorite part is " soul has been psychedelicized!" If you have time to do a quick search on You Tube, you won't be sorry, there is a live performance that is too cool for words!

If you aren't familiar with the song, here are the beginning lyrics:

"Time has come today, Young hearts can go their way, Can't put it off another day, I don't care what others say, They say we don't listen anyway, Time has come today(Hey), Oh The rules have changed today..."

I haven't come to a conclusion yet on how best to use these beads, but I think a formation like either of these would be fun with lots of bright colors. I can definitely see strands of dangles... possibly fiber or hemp cord with beaded dangles. I might need to tie dye something!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

OVAL Memory Wire!

Hi there! I have been anxious to share this oval memory wire and find out if anyone has had any experience with it. I am a HUGE memory wire fan, but just recently saw it was made in an oval shape. Would you believe I had just pondered why there wasn't such a thing?!

It was right after I had made a one strand memory wire bracelet that consisted of a sort of small round focal bead and 11/0 seed beads. Due to the small beads and light weight of the bracelet, it seemed just a little too round for my wrist. It was one of those "ask and you shall receive" moments I guess!

I haven't had a chance to use the oval wire, but will let you know as soon as I do. By the way, this is a beadalon product. The package reads "wire, oval coil, bracelet, silver plate".

Have a good one!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

In Awe of Crystals

Hello! It's been a while since I have posted crystals, but since I ordered some recently, I just couldn't let this opportunity pass me by!!

The small crystals are 3mm helix in aquamarine. The cubes are 8mm in aquamarine ab. Yummy stuff! Even people who have no addiction to or knowledge of beads or beading can't resist good old swarovski crystal!! The cubes are my favorite and the lighter colors really allow the light to pass through revealing all the gorgeous cuts.

Can you imagine touring the Swarovski factory in Austria? Wow....dare to dream. If you have a little extra time to spare and have never looked at this Swarovski Tour site before, you won't be sorry! From what I understand from other searches, the tour includes the world's biggest crystal (137 pounds) and wait till you see the crystal dome... Wow!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Chokers & Lemonade Award

Sunday is a nice day for catching up...on work, hobbies, with friends and family or JEWELRY making projects!! Sundays are extra nice when you know you have Monday off so you can put off gearing up for the week!

I still have LOTS of beads from my Rings & Things grab bags AND more cable chokers. Hmm, are you thinking what I'm thinking? It almost sounds like a challenge! The photo here is of a few of the remaining chokers and just a few of the beads. So, throughout the week, I'll work on merging these materials. I have a few ideas already since the beads will not be strung directly onto the chokers, dangles are in order!

I also wanted to take a few moments today to thank Teri B. from S&T Creations and Wilma of Wilma's Whimsey for their very kind and thoughtful presentations of the Lemonade award this week! I was feeling a little overwhelmed with gratitude, but wanted to make sure they both understood how much I appreciated it!

I doubt that either of them had ever seen the post I made last year about the saying, "if life hands you lemons, make lemonade", so I wanted to add a link here to that post about lemons.
Would you call that synchronicity?

If you are not familiar with the Lemonade award, it is awarded to sites that show a positive attitude and gratitude. I really try to do this in all aspects of life, but think it comes easiest while doing things I sincerely enjoy! I would like to pass along this kindness by mentioning some of the blogs that I enjoy reading regularly, in addition to both Teri and Wilma's above.

Tonia Davenport
(Plexiglass jewelry designer/author who continues her "heart it forward challenge")

Sara , the Serendipitous Designer
(multi-talented soft-flex rep aka Softflex Girl)
Tammy Powley
(the all knowing/all seeing jewelry making expert from

Carole of "What do you mean by Art"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This Week's Chokers

Hi there! I received a bunch of 15"cable chokers and 18" cable chokers/neck wires last week from Rings & Things and I've been looking forward to having time to get my beads out! I've never worked with these before and had a good time with them. These are the two I made today and now that I have finished them, I have a bunch of other ideas!

Isn't that usually how it works?...Once you finally get the creativity going, each new idea is "better" than the last or maybe "more evolved" than the last. A lot of times it makes me want to start over, but I resisted the urge!

One is made on black choker cable, 1mm, 15" with a silver magnetic clasp and the other on red choker cable, 18", with a silver screw-top clasp. Since the ends are permanently attached, it's necessary to work with large-hole beads or wire things on to them.

I used the "universe" bead I mentioned recently in the black choker. I seem to have a tendency to fixate on something and use it several times before moving on. I was in a crafty mood and had fun twisting all the black wire for this one!

I used large hole sterling plated rounds on the red choker and love the contrast between the silver and red. AND, the cool part is it seemed like the perfect opportunity to use this silver wire-mesh focal piece. Isn't it great when everything comes together, as though it were planned!

I hope you are all having a great, crafty weekend!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Designer Earring Friday

Hello and happy Friday!! The work week has come to a close and for me, it's a 3 day weekend! That makes me happy and I want all of you to be happy too!

It's "Designer Earring Friday" on abeadaday...This week's earrings pretty much speak for themselves! They're gorgeous and sweet all at the same time. They are inspired by springtime and are beautifully crafted!

Thanks to Anna Lee of Ga'hoole Tree Designs who kindly agreed to allow me to showcase these earrings today! Anna Lee is a business owner and designer of "exquisite genuine gemstone jewelry" out of Ontario, Canada.

I love the description of these earrings below taken from her blog...very inspiring!

"Handmade sterling silver chandelier earrings depict melting icicles as our hearts warm to thoughts of springtime, renewal and the splendour of budding florals. Let it thaw!Designed in tribute to my warm hearted artisan street team friends who daily inspire me, keep me smiling and who always remind me that there are brighter days ahead.This creation is my entry for the eSMArts January Design Challenge.Each earring has an imperial topaz brio, two emeralds, fourteen pink sapphire rondelles, two amethyst trillions, a rose quartz marquis and one rhodolite garnet."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ruby in Zoisite

I had never heard of the mineral called zoisite until I looked it up a few minutes ago. The tag on today's bead strand reads, "ruby in zoisite", 12x10mm, 15 pcs.

How cool is that?! Yes, this is one of the grab bag bead strands mentioned yesterday from Rings and Things. These are triangular in shape and are multi-faceted (literally)! It's the faceting that gives it some sparkle, but I love the fun, bold colors!

While the colors are sort of watermelon-like, you could take this in many different design directions especially having 15 pieces to work with. The stringing hole on these goes through the pointed side, so they would work well on a strand pushed up against each other giving it an interwoven look as every other bead turns in the same direction. I think using 13 of them strung together would make a nice long focal piece to a necklace or bracelet. Then you can just string on some large sparkly crystals to make the bracelet band or the rest of the necklace. Of course, with the two leftover beads, earrings are a must!

OR...I just had a completely different thought about using these in a right angle weave design....Hmm, that sounds like fun!!

Let me know what you think!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Red/Amber Flower

Hello! I've been anxiously awaiting my order from Rings & Things because I have never ordered a "grab bag" of beads before. I have certainly been tempted, but for some reason never went through with it.

The mood struck when I was searching through the online catalog and the funny thing is, I didn't realize I had marked the quantity as "2" until I was finishing up my order. Since time was limited, I thought it must be destiny, so I left it as is. The good news is, the $5 grab bags are well worth the "risk"!!

I would LOVE to show you all the loot in one post, but I really want to appreciate each bead's unique qualities. Yes, this could take a while! I will describe the first grab bag to you just to give you an idea of how exciting it was to open this package. The ziplocking bag was stuffed full of bead strands! I was kind of surprised to see so many. There were 13 individual strands of very unique beads.

The strand of red/amber flowers has 16 of these beads on it. The color is so unique and the flower design is adorable. It's just under an inch in length with two holes for stringing. Even though there are 16 beads, I think I'd like to use it as a bracelet focal bead. What do you think about a 2 strand memory wire bracelet? I'm going to give it a try!

Have a good one!! (and stay tuned)!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Evolutionary Bead Mix

As I was looking through a box containing an abundance of bead tubes, I came across this bead mix. It's such a nice variety of clear and white cubes, rectangles and e beads, including some with an ab finish, that I was pondering how I could incorporate them all into a fun wintery piece.

Once I dumped them out of the tube, I realized this was not a bead mix I purchased, it was a bead mix that evolved as I worked on various projects. I am not the type of person to put each bead back in its rightful container, although I often wish I was! I have MANY tubes, boxes, bins and miscellaneous containers that hold the remnants of previous work. If I get them into containers of similar colors or types, then I have done a good job of cleaning up my workspace!

I am curious to find out if other beaders take the extra effort to get every bead back in its original container or if they, like me, enjoy the evolutionary process of making bead mixes! Also out of curiosity, I looked up the word "evolutionary" to make sure it was applicable in this particular situation and, I believe it is, what do you think?

"A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form."

Yes, I'd say that describes this process perfectly! Have a good one!

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Stacked" Silver Spacer

Today's bead is interesting because it appears to be stacked metal pieces. It is actually just one piece. It has some weight to it, so it will give your jewelry piece a substantial feel. It sort of reminded me of stacked squaredelles, but without the sparkle!

I'm thinking it would be fun to use this in an "all silver" bracelet using lots of silver rounds and a variety of silver toned spacers. If that sounds just a tad boring, lets throw in some bright red crystal bicones!

What do you think?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bronze Bead Mix

Today's bead is actually a fun packaged mix from Hobby Lobby. I don't make it to Hobby Lobby too often these days since they are no longer in my routine driving zone. However, there is one near a hobby store my husband likes, so that's when I tend to make it over there.

I liked the colors and variety of textures in this packaged mix and thought it would be a fun one to have. Now this would make a nice package to give a non-beader along with a 4 or 5 strand piece of memory wire (with one finished end). Most likely, you will have a jewelry maker after they get the piece strung. Seriously, I don't know how you can go wrong with memory wire, especially if you are trying to convert someone or maybe I should say "convince" someone how easy it is to make jewelry!

Once they have finished the piece, you can tell them how inexpensive the pieces were to purchase. That might do the trick! I always like to convince people they'll enjoy beading so I have more people to bead with!

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Interlocking" Puzzle Bracelet

This bracelet was made with two beads that have previously been posted here. As I mentioned when I recently posted the silver rounds, I was really taken by their shiny-ness and was anxious to make something with them using mostly the rounds. This 3 strand bracelet was a lot of fun to make because the cubes (or rectangles) sort of fit together like a puzzle.

I love the neutral palette so it goes with just about any color. In contrast with a black outfit, it appears very clear and sparkly.

I hope you are all having a sparkly Saturday!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Universe Bracelet

Hello and Happy Friday! Even though this is usually a day for posting earrings, I wanted to post the Universe Bracelet that I made this morning. It wasn't exactly well planned out due to time constraints, but I wanted to present it to a friend today. For future Friday posts, I will be searching out unique earring designs from etsy or jewelry blogs to add a little extra diversity!

As I mentioned in my post Wednesday, I was intrigued by these "universe" beads and wanted to incorporate them into bracelets like this one as a reminder of our ability to create the existence of our choosing.

I have often read that Albert Einstein believed an individual's answer to the following question was a good indicator of their belief about themselves and their ability to achieve their dreams. "Is the universe friendly to our desires?"

Sometimes it helps to have a reminder that it is most often our own beliefs that either limit us or allow us to surpass even our own goals. Such a simple truth, but one that needs repeating!

Have a great evening!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Black Glass Teardrop

Ooh, this bead is so cool! It has a sophisticated flair to it because of the shape, but the cuts give it sort of a simplistic feel.

I've used these beads in a very simple knotted bracelet. I made headpin dangles out of 4 or 5 of them and did the same with hematite rounds. I used a thin faux black leather cording and at short intervals, knotted the dangles on jump rings. It ended up looking sort of industrial, but at closer glance, the hematite and teardrop dangles gave it a lot of sparkle in contrast.

I love hearing other ideas, so let me know what you think about these! Have a good one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beads of the Universe

Hi there! Today's beads are part of a strand that I just received from Wilma's Whimsy etsy shop. I happened to come across her site recently and when I saw these "universe" beads, I was intrigued. They are very planet like and when you get a closer look, you can almost see some scenes of land and sea. Really cool!

I am planning to use these as focal beads in some bracelets for friends. It's great to have little reminders of the vastness of the universe especially when we find ourselves in tiny, little insignificant stressful moments. It helps to pull you back to the big picture, adjust your perspective and move on.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beading with Donuts

This would be great with a little bit of buttercream icing and a few crushed nuts! At our local bakery that would be called a nut topper. It would be a lot of fun to make a whole bracelet full of donuts.

You could throw in a few beads that resemble other sweet treats, such as a cupcake or chocolate bar. Beaded cupcakes are fun to make by using a colorful flower beadcap, a large round and a seed bead on top.

Maybe I better stop all this talk of sweets, it's making me hungry!

I hope you are having a great week!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Silver Plated Rounds

Hello! I wanted to share these silver plated rounds with you since I am still sort of taken by them. Why? Good question...

I'm not sure this is a good reason, but they were in packages of 100 in 4 different sizes and so bright and shiny! I can't wait to show you what I made with them. It is unusual for me to make something the same day I get a new bead, but I must have been inspired!

I paired these rounds with a bead that was showcased a while back and it just sort of came together like an interlocking puzzle. I'll post it on Saturday to get your thoughts. I wore it today and received a few compliments, but mostly, I just really enjoyed these shiny silver beads.

These beads came in the following sizes: 2.4mm, 3.2mm, 4mm, 6mm.

Fun, shiny and simple. Have a good one!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sweet Swarovski Butterflies

Hi there! Sunday is a great day to showcase crystals. By this time, we are all gearing up for Monday and could use a little extra sparkle.

I wasn't planning on buying these butterflies, but it was probably the third time I had seen them and each time I had trouble putting them back on the rack. I decided I might as well buy them and, to make up for it, I could make gifts out of two of the pairs. These are going to look great as earrings hanging from a short length of sterling plated chain.

I hope everyone is experiencing some snow melting today, as we are, due to temperatures in the 40's!! Have a great week!!