31 July 2012

Art Jewelry Elements: July Component of the Month

Woot!  I finished it! :)  And I had so much fun with it!

Okay, so earlier this month, on the Art Jewelry Elements blog, I saw the fabulous July Design component, Jennifer Cameron's Nightmare Insomnia beads.  This bead is so many levels of fabulousness, I just cannot tell you.  :)  I could not wait to play with this one, so I hopped right on the opportunity to get one and participate in the hop!

Okay, so this is the bead Jennifer sent me:

You can't see it terribly well here, but in addition to the gorgeous swirly colors in here,  there's an awesome zebra stripe. 

I pondered this bead for a few weeks, until I finally decided that I wanted to play with seed beads.  I finally settled on a cellini spiral (my first ever!) using instructions from the fabulous Inspirational Beading blog. Here's some pics of the cellini in progress:

seed beads all over! 
So, I had originally thought to do a cellini spiral bangle, with the nightmare bead in the center focal.  But really, I gotta tell you, I wasn't real sure how to do that, as I've never woven a bangle before (I'm pondering that next) and I wasn't sure if the entire thing might not be too chunky.  After all, the cellini certainly has some oomph to it, and the bead is a lovely size, as well. 

Eventually, I settled on a necklace, and decided to weave a basic spiral rope for either side of the cellini.   I attached those ropes to the cellini section with a very haphazard and organic series of beaded "strings." Not sure if it was "proper," but it worked:

You can sort see the stringies here... 
Then, I had to figure out a way to attach the bead to the necklace.  I really want it to be over-the-top (well, more than it was already...) and I thought it'd be fun to give it a bit of fringe.  So, I wove a seed-bead-bail-system-thingy through the bead to secure an actual woven bail to one end and some danglies to the other.  Then, I decided a woven bail would too much, so I just used 3 strands of seed beads to go around the cellini.  So, here's the finished "thingie":

And here's the Whole Shebang! 

I love collages, don't you? 
You can find the rest of the Nightmare bead designs here: 

Beti Horvath: Stringing Fool
Gretchen Nation: Art Food Lodging
Karen Totten: Starry Road Studio
Kathleen Douglas: Washoe Kat's
Keirsten Giles: The Cerebral Dilettante
Kristen Stevens: My Bead Journey
Lori Anderson: Pretty Things
Rana Wilson: Rana Lea Designs
Shannon Chomanczuk: For My Sweet Daughter

29 July 2012

Just a quick note! :)

Just wanted to "hop" in real quick to say hi!  And to let you all know that the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party began yesterday!  The first reveal started yesterday, and you can find a complete list of Reveal 1 Participants here.  So many pretty things! (You won't find my piece yet--I'm in the last reveal. lol!)

Also, wanted to let you know to stay tuned for more "Beads for Blogging" goodies from me (I am having so much FUN!) and the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month Design reveal in a few days (omg!!!!  Wait till you see what I made!!)  :)


20 July 2012

My "Beads for Blogging" Beads Came!!!

Hee hee!!  Awhile back, I met, virtually-speaking, an awesome new friend through one of my Facebook Beading groups.  Tanya, aka FusionMuse, runs a fabulous supplies shop on Etsy, and recently started getting her blog going again.  As part of that effort, she's offering "Free Beads for Blogging"!  (If you look over to the right, you'll see the button! Pretty, yes?)

So, here are the beads she sent me:

Look at the fun colors here!  I'm thinking earrings! :) 

Just had to give you a close-up of this gorgeous focal.  I have no idea what it is, (possibly an agate of some kind?) but it's pretty!  :) 

And this is the other side! 
So, there's a little sneak peek for ya!  I'll be posting pics of what I make soon! :)


12 July 2012

My favorite jewelry tools

Okay, as a jewelry maker, I now have more tools than I ever thought possible.  I have hammers, and pliers, and files, and clippers, and... and... just stuff.  Lots of stuff.  So, I thought I might share a few faves. :)

Bench Block and chasing hammer!!  And, well, other hammers!!  
Things around which to wrap wire!  And, needles for beadweaving! lol! 
Clockwise from top--cup burr file, crimping pliers, nylon jaw pliers,  clampy thingies, round nose pliers (My favorite cheapiest pair!!!), and a little ice-cream scoopy thingies for scooping seed beads! 
Tea tray, to hold projects
Veggie tray to old more projects! (yes, that's a bead mat that I cut to fit...)
Pretty things on which to take pictures...
Area in which to take pictures (yes, that's my kitchen, and that's just tissue paper.  It works for now)
Hands!  yeah, I'm a dork.  Really, this is a pic of my most FAVORITE tool of all--my nails.  Seriously--these suckers are invaluable to me! And they're pretty! (My nail tech rocks.  You can find her at Plaza Hair and Nails.)  So, how do I use these?  Well, they're awesome bead scoops, they're handy for separating beads easily, and, because they're strong acrylic, they're FABULOUS for pushing wire into place while I'm weaving and wrapping it! 
Okay, not a tool so much as a kitteh-supervisor.  :) Dobby makes sure I stay on task! lol! 
So, there you have it!  Some of my favorite toys tools! 

11 July 2012

Big Changes Coming!

So, I'm getting geared up for my big changes reveal!  But, I can tell about the very first part! :)

Definitive Designs by RWilson

is becoming 

RanaLea Designs!!!!!!

I still have a lot of work to do to make this change a reality, but I started with a BRAND NEW Facebook page for ya'll to go like!!!  :)

08 July 2012

My Bead Soup Arrived!!! :)

Yay!  It's here! It's here!!  :)  And it's SOOOOOOOOO pretty!  My partner, Mary Govaars, really sent me an awesome soup, and I already have SO MANY ideas!  You'll have to wait for the ideas (I can tell you I'll be creating multiple pieces, and most likely using stringing, weaving, and wire work.  :)  I can't wait!!!!) But, I can show you pictures of the pretties!  :)

Okay, here's the box and what came in the box (I love the red bubble wrap.  It's my favorite color! lol!)

And Mary had everything packaged all up in a cute bag, and wrapped in the brightest tissue paper:

She included a lovely card with details about the beads she sent, and with the most gorgeous picture of The Golden Gate Bridge at night:

So, on to the goodies!  :)

Mary sent me a BUNCH of gorgeous lampwork beads:

Blue Accent beads by Canyon Echoes, Green hollows and orange/green focal by LL Designs (I can't seem to find a link for them), and big focal bead by That Bead Girl

And a beautiful set of coordinating beads, including seed beads, chips, and some awesome coral discs:

So, the focal an the clasp (the 2 pieces I HAVE to use in my design!)

A simple and elegant sterling toggle, and a fabulous focal lampie by LL Designs.  It's more orange than red in real life :) 
And I've already started looking through my stash for more goodies to round out my plans:

So there it is!  The pretties I get to play with! :)

And here's a partial pic of what I sent to Mary:
The lampie is by Nancy Gant

07 July 2012

Oh, a Pretty Things Giveaway! :)

So, the fantabulous Lori Anderson of the Pretty Things Blog is hosting an AWESOME giveaway!

It's a 5-part Giveaway, and you can find out more about it here.

I'm really excited about this one, because she's offering such pretty things (well, that is the name of her blog, after all... lol!)  and useful things!  She's got a gorgeous collection of beads from the Bead and Button Show, a copy of her Bead Soup book, a copy of her inspirational blogging book, an adorable Bead Soup Blog Party tote (so cute!!) and a surprise bead soup!

You can find all the details about entering on Lori's blog (but feel free to forget to enter! :) lol!) and you should definitely go see what she's up to (check out the resin pendants she and her son made!)

Oh, and I got my Bead Soup from my partner Mary Govaars! (it is so pretty!!!!  I am such a lucky duck!!!) Look for more about that in a day or so! :)

Talk to you soon!