Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Magically Dichroic!

Did you know dichroic glass is available to artists because of research conducted by NASA and the aerospace industry...it's all quite scientific!

I am drawn to dichroic beads because of the layering and what seems like a mystery to me! I get that moment of, "wow, how'd they do that?"

This is one of the beads our little turtle friend picked out over the weekend. I'm working on the design and wondering how I can use all the colorful beads, including this one for the turtle to "walk on". Hmmm...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Beads have been selected!

I let our little turtle friend wander through the bead inventory and here's what he picked out!

Pretty cute! I think I would have picked more of a subtle earth tone palette, but the turtle has spoken!

I love that he picked out the previously cut pieces of colorful memory wire rubber tubing, such bright colors!

So, my job is now to come up with a fun design to do it justice...stay tuned!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Musical Inspiration

At this point in time, I can only say that I WISH I played a musical instrument and you never know, it could happen one day in the future.

For now, I just enjoy hearing other people play their music and share themselves with their audience when they do...

Earlier tonight I was watching the Vh1 Classic channel (again) and was thrilled to find, "Janis".

I've been hooked on Janis Joplin on and off over the years and seeing this show definitely made me feel inspired.

I love seeing people put their entire selves into something with such passion that you know they are in another world while they're doing it.

Shown above is a bracelet I made several years ago while in the beading zone that sort of brings out the love child in me. The best part about it are the eyeball beads, the dice and even an alien...making it quite entertaining to study.

Too Cute or Just Right?

Okay, okay, I agree....just right!

This adorable turtle bead must have been calling me from his little bead container because I walked right up to that container, opened the lid and pulled him out without any thought!

So, looks like he's going to be part of today's bracelet project!

Stay tuned for a later post to see where else he leads me! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Happy Friday! Ahh.. just taking a deep breath in.

Hopefully that will somehow slow down time for the next couple of days so lots of creating can happen!

I was thinking this post called for the rhinestone peace sign dangle...yep, I'm getting that weekend feeling!

Just to get the creative ball rolling, here are some great posts by our beading friends...

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean wants to know if you get the Jewelry Business Success Newsletter...she does, and finds it very worthwhile! Here is the info on
how to get it! It is free!

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy takes a look at a new book about chain maille that is scheduled to be published by Interweave next month.

Art Bead Scene
Erin Siegel shares a free Tribal Dance Earrings project, a great ethnic, boho look perfect for hot weather.

Beading Arts
If you've been putting off updating your Facebook page or profile, procrastinate no longer! Cyndi's got the info you need to really rock out your pages.

Resin Crafts!
This resin blog post is dedicated to cat owners!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Decopauge and Jewelry Making

What a fun pairing! Yes, I do LOVE a good craft project!

These wood beads made the perfect base for the flowers that I had cut out of ribbon and mod-podged on.

I came back across this necklace over the weekend and felt inspired to pull out all my beads that have a flat surface that could be decopauged.

Next, I grabbed the mod-podge! So, now I've got supplies set up for the weekend. The clock just needs to move forward a tad!

If you've got decopauge pieces you would like to share, just add links in the comments! :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cleaning your Crystals

A couple of people commented on yesterday's post about taking their handmade jewelry apart to repurpose it. I do enjoy taking apart something with Swarovski crystals in it.

It's great to clean them up and feel like you've got a new batch of materials to work with. I usually immerse all glass beads in dishwashing liquid, rinse and let air dry before reusing them.

I just did a search to find out how to clean crystals and found this video on wiki-how. Thought you might enjoy it! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Same Design Pallette, Different Design Idea!

Have you ever wondered if, given the same beads, you would create the SAME project 6 months from now, a year or even 2 years from now?

OR, would you process the materials all over again and come up with something completely different?

Hmm, something to ponder! I had an interesting experience over the weekend during the continuing saga of reorganizing the craft room and bead containers.

In one container I had stored all the leftover beads from the project pictured here made several years ago. The first thought I had when I saw them was, ooh, those would look great on memory wire going round and round the wrist with a cool, sparkly aqua colored dangle!

Amazing! I had completely different and fresh ideas! I must admit that a few minutes later when I remembered this original project, I started pining for the original and had thoughts of re-creating it instead of going the new route.

Yep, sometimes it's hard to let go...but growth is good, even when it comes to jewelry design!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sweet Doggie with Age Spots!

As I go through the usual routine with my little 18 year old bichon tonight, I have to laugh. He's lost a good bit of his sight and hearing, but his ornery personality is still quite intact!

After he finally ate some dinner at 10:00pm, found his way to the door, came back in, asked for more food. Ate a second helping, asked to go back out.

He's now asking for more and he's tiny! I went to scoop him up, but he saw my shadow and, in a manner befitting a much younger dog who can see, he took off like a bolt of lightening wanting me to chase him! Ay-yi-yi! We are so fortunate to have him, so we try to enjoy his antics. :)

I was just thinking that I should look around for a new doggie bead that resembles his funny personality and quickly found this one at FireMountainGems.com.

There was another all white bead, but I thought this was appropriate since you can see our little Rudy's age spots. Aww! Too cute!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bohemian Crystal Bead Mix!

Wow, this Swarovski crystal bead mix is called, "Bohemian 5328 4mm Swarovski Crystal Xilion mix".

I love that they called this Bohemian!

It's a great mix of fabulous colors, my fave is the BLUE ZIRCON! It really POPS, Yes I said POPS...I know, severely cliche, but that's what goes on in my brain sometimes!

What do you think? Is there something that stands out to you that makes this ultra bohemian?

Thanks to Brightlingbeads.com for this FAB MIX!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorful & Creative!

Wow! Love this COLORFUL creation by Carmi! Happy Friday by the way... I am in awe of this creative project and want to get out all my crafts and get to work!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi finally gets to incorporate a little neon into her jewelry making projects!

Beading Arts
Wonderful gemstone and pearl artists continue to be featured on Beading Arts all this month!
About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy is catching up with her jewelry book reviews. This new book has some interesting fabric techniques to try.
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
What is going on at Jean's new Etsy shop? Here is the latest and the colors are right on trend!
Art Bead Scene
Heather reveals some gorgeous jewelry designs from a variety of artists who participated in her Inspired by Nature challenge
Resin Crafts!
This week I had an opportunity to pour resin into ceramic bezels from Jennifer Jangles!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shiny Polished Hemp Cord

Wow, what a great color of hemp cord! SO shiny too! It's called "turquoise polished".

I was thinking about using hemp cord in some way to add to the bohemian feel of my shrinky dink bracelet, but the colors I have might not do it justice so I started looking around.

WOW, again! There are some pretty spectacular colors out on this website called Hempbasics. Take a look if you get a chance.

If you know of any other great colors, PLEASE let me know!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Butterfly Flair

Just in case you are looking for iron-on appliques to make bracelets with, similar to the great bracelets shared in yesterday's post, check out Joann Etc.

Let me know if you are interested in instructions.

Basically, you need hemp cord strands, an iron applique, iron on patching material, a magnet clasp and lots of beads for the strands.

Have fun and let me know how you add your own flair!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Great Vacation Project

Aww, how adorable are these bracelets?

These are the result of a friend's family vacation craft session!!

LOVE them all! Each one is so unique and perfect in its own way.

These were originally inspired by the butterfly bracelet I posted earlier in the spring. It makes me SO happy when people put their own creativity and unique style into projects inspired by something I made.

Thanks to Liz, her Mom and nieces for sharing these great bracelets! If you have my book, A Bead in Time, this is a variation on the Rock Star bracelet made with iron-on appliques! The possibilities are truly endless!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Project is Born!

I love it when beading elements just happen to appear and ideas begin to unfold! Ahh, an idea is born!

Recently I mentioned some cool multi-colored faceted beads from the craft store, but I hadn't had much inspiration for them yet. I threw them into a baggie so I could keep them nearby and look at them occasionally until an idea sparked.

I remembered this interesting clasp I had found on clearance at Hobby Lobby I believe, so I threw that in the baggie too.

After making yesterday's shrinky-dink bracelet components, I put them in plastic wrap and threw them in the bag too. I thought I could just sneak a few glimpses of the whole batch here and there to get an idea.

Then it struck! why not use the 3 strand clasp on the shrinky-dink bracelet. That way, if I want to wear my cool vibe, music inspired shrinky-dink I can, but if the situation provides an opportunity to be more on the conservative side...I can just turn it around and wear the clasp as the focal!

What do you think. The colors are really great on this clasp and to top it off, I believe it was on clearance for $.50!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Real Life or Just Fantasy?

Sound familiar? I've been wrapped up in music again lately. In spring I was immersed in Pink Floyd and summer is all about Queen. Why? I don't know, but I've decided to embrace it!

In good company with many million others, Bohemian Rhapsody is a favorite! On my way home from work Friday while listening to it, I thought about bringing these lyrics into a piece of jewelry for a little extra fun!

That's the beauty of jewelry, you can merge other interests in. A good place to start for me is my go-to medium, shrinky dinks! Pretty straight forward...just add words and a background and you are good to go. Then print, cut out and bake for 3 minutes. So easy!

Here are a couple of the pieces that will turn into bracelets shortly. I'm still experimenting to find the perfect background. I had a beautiful blue sky with clouds, but the words just disappeared.

One is a picture of grass I took when I was trying to take a picture of a little bird walking around on the ground. I liked how the sun was shining on the green grass. The other is from a smart phone app, "Spin-Art". It's so fun to play with and when you like the design, just save it or email it.

Stay tuned for bracelets, in the mean time, here are a few lyrics from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody:

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes, 
Look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I'm easy come, easy go, 
Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Totally Modular!

Well, I couldn't resist the 80's speak in tonight's title. Sometimes I just gotta be me! Like totally!

I saw the start of a bracelet using these great Swarovski modular crystals earlier today in an ad so I thought I'd find out where to get them.

Surprisingly not all bead shops carry them. I found them in fabulous fuschia over at Artbeads.com.

It's easy to see how stringing them up would make a special piece of jewelry with very little embellishment. However, I was wondering if there were other interesting ways to use them.

I don't recall ever having these modular crystals personally. Any ideas out there? These are 7mm x 15mm!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Happy weekend!! Here are some fun posts to get you thinking about creativity! LOVE these stamped pieces in resin!

Resin Crafts!
A week of special projects begins with this one featuring Stampendous and Jewelry Resin.

About.com Jewelry Making
Love them? Hate them? Not sure about them? Get the skinny on magnetic clasps.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discusses her thought process when she designs jewelry.

Art Bead Scene
This month we have an extra bonus giveaway you can enter by spreading the word about the 7000 bracelets project!

Beading Arts
Cyndi found a really fast and easy way to make bracelets, and she's gone to town!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lost & Found Jewelry

Yay, yay, yay, yay! I was trying to be casual about losing this bracelet recently. I had previously lost the same bracelet twice and both times it turned up unexpectedly.

Two weeks ago I thought for sure I had lost it for good somewhere between my work building and the parking garage. I was thinking I ought to check in with lost and found just in case, but kept getting side tracked.

Well, over the weekend while at the gas station to cash in on fuel perks I couldn't find my Giant Eagle card! I remembered my bag had spilled out earlier in the week, so maybe it got stuck under the car seat.

I leaned over to search for it and there was my sparkly bracelet!! The magnet clasp was holding onto the side of the console. Amazingly happy moment. The funny thing is I looked one more time in my bag and there was my giant eagle card after all. Hmmm.....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rivoli Goodness!

I have decided to make today Rivoli Goodness day!

Let's all take a few moments to relish the fabulousness of the Swarovski Rivoli...ahh! SO GOOD!

My favorite is the Rivoli button. Yes, you COULD sew them onto clothes, but...

How about using them in bracelets or rings? What a great idea :)!!

Here's a link to the Rivoli Buttons over at FireMountainGems.com.

Rings are SO EASY to create with buttons and extremely attention getting. Here's a very simple example.

I'd love to hear your ideas for using rivoli buttons in jewelry designs, so please share!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Know How to Spool Knit?

If you're thinking about entering the Softflex wire knitting contest mentioned in yesterday's post, here are a couple of tutorials!

1. By our friends at Softflex

2. By jewelry making expert, Tammy Powley, at About.com

I'm feeling the temptation rise! How about you?

Softflex Girl, Sara, says when teaching this technique she describes the face of the knitting spool like a face of a clock as noted below in an excerpt from her instructions.

"Wrap the wire clockwise around 12pm, pass through the middle of the spool and then wrap clockwise around 10pm, then 8pm, 4pm & 2pm. You should have one loop around each peg. (In my design, I'm using 2 wire colors: Purple Amethyst Soft Flex® Wire & Pink Rhodochrosite Soft Flex® Wire, but treating them as if they are one wire.)"

Sounds pretty easy! Thanks Sara and Tammy for sharing your techniques.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Softflex Beading Contest!

Here's another great beading contest!

The 2012 Softflex "Flex your creativity" Beading Contest!

Wow! This time around Softflex is looking for jewelry and accessory designs using a knitting spool with Softflex beading or craft wire, how FUN!

I have always wanted to try using a knitting spool with beading wire!! The two seem perfectly matched especially if you love crocheting with beading wire.

Follow the above link over to their site for complete details. Top prize is a $500 gift certificate, NICE!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

This Week's Project: Festive Fun Bracelet!

I mentioned recently I used these great colorful strands on the plum Econoflex wire. I've been wearing it very happily for the last few days, but thought it might be missing something.

I wrapped a couple strands of glass pearls around either side of them and liked the way it looked, so I just got done stringing them up.

I'll be heading back to work tomorrow, so this is coming with me. You'll be the first to know if I end up leaving them intact.

Let me know what you think if you get a sec! It's always nice to get input from fellow beaders. :) Have a great week!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jewelry Design Star

Just a quick reminder about round 4 of the Jewelry Design Star contest sponsored by Artbeads.com!

Here's some info from their website. Make sure you pop over if you are interested for all the details.

"Show the world your creativity and get the chance to become a Jewelry Design Star! For your chance to be a Jewelry Design Star, upload a photo of your favorite design with a brief description and what inspired your creation. Then, other Artbeads fans will be able to vote for their favorite design. If yours wins, you’ll be crowned our latest Jewelry Design Star.

Enter the contest by Wednesday, July 18 at 11:59 PM Pacific. Come back and vote for your favorite design Thursday, July 19 through Tuesday, July 24 at 11:59 PM Pacific. Enter or vote now!"

Good luck! :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Happy Friday! Here's some inspiration to get your weekend off to a crafty start.

First off, Melanie of Earthenwood Studio is sharing some of her vintage finds from the Bead & Button show, yay!

Check out the treasures that Melanie picked up at the Bead & Button show in this series of blog posts.
Lisa Niven Kelly is featured in About.com Jewelry Making's July jewelry designer interview.
Art Bead Scene introduces a new monthly challenge with a Picasso painting with an added twist to benefit the 7000 Bracelets Project
July begins with a bang...along with a Beading Arts celebration of all things gemstone and pearl!
Carmi makes a special necklace on her day off featuring Klimt!

This week on Resin Crafts blog there is a very unique post about pouring resin into a petal shaped component.

Jean is speechless at the beauty of the "Bead Soup" which her partner Dana Hickey has sent her! You will love it too! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Let's Name that Bead!

Here's a sneak peak at some of the leftover beads I used with the Purply Plum Econoflex wire this week.

So sparkly and cute! I bought two different sized strands in the same colors not knowing what I was going to make at the time, it seemed like a good decision!

The tag on the beads used a reference number instead of giving them a fun, inspiring name. That seems like the best part of being in the bead business.

Swarovski has mastered this element of sending all their masterpieces out of the factory with special names like, padparadscha, pacific opal, provence lavender, crystal luminous green...ahh, love them all!

I thought it would be fun to step in and come up with something that accurately describes them while inspiring a happy spirit at the same time! What do you think, are you with me?

Here's my thought...Rock Candy Sparkle. How about you? Please share your bead name ideas if you have a sec.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

Hope your day was filled with things that make you happy! Family, friends, pets, beads, food, fireworks, you name it!

If you made any jewelry for the occasion, please share!

It's ALWAYS great to hear what fellow bead friends are up to and this is a great way to share! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Purply Plum!

The best thing about Hobby Lobby is they carry the Softflex line of beading wire called Econoflex!

As the name implies, it easily fits into your budget, which is one of the reasons I love it ($3.47).  It stands the test of time AND the colors are really fabulous!

This is the plum wire I picked up Saturday and here's a link to the Softflex site, where it is priced even better than Hobby Lobby!

I wore a new bracelet featuring the plum econoflex wire today and was so glad I took a chance on combining MANY colors on this wire. 

It has a very cheerful vibe! Stay tuned for a final project pic. I'm still considering adding dangles. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vacation Crafting

Did I mention it's vacation week? Yay!

That meant a trip to the craft store today. I don't usually get to Hobby Lobby, but they have a fairly new store close by, it just doesn't seem to be open when I get the bug to shop!

I printed out my 40% off coupon before heading over and ended up with a handful of sparkle!

After all these years, I have pretty well honed my "I can't live without that!" radar. It's a feeling that involves just a tiny bit of tingling...  It doesn't happen every trip, so I'm happy when it does.

This is one of the strands I found, pretty cool! I liked the variations and the way they worked well together considering the contrasts.

I've already got a project going with a couple other sparkly strands, so stay tuned! I don't have any ideas formed for this strand yet, but I just couldn't walk away. As always, please share if you were struck by inspiration when you saw these.

Hope your week is off to a great start too!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Crafty Princess Giveaway!

I've got exciting giveaway news for you!

Our friend Tammy Powley of About.com has 4 books up for grabs, yay! Just pop over to her "Crafty Princess Diaries" blog to enter.

The contest runs through July 31 and you only need to comment once to get yourself in the running.

Tammy loves to survey other beaders and get conversations going so she's also interested in hearing about your favorite jewelry and favorite type of jewelry to make!

Should be fun reading all the comments!

Just make sure to include your email address in your comment so you can be easily contacted if you are selected.

This is a great series of books filled with eye candy galore: 30 minute earrings, 30 minute bracelets, 30 minute necklaces and 30 minute rings!!!! Good luck! :)