01 December 2012

Floral Holiday Treasures!

Lisa Lodge, of Pine Ridge Treasures, put together this FUN hop for us!  Thank you Lisa!

Lisa sent each of the participants a selection of kind of "out of the box" beads and elements for an "out of the box" hop.  Her instructions to us included the guideline that these creations did not have to be jewelry, nor did they necessarily need to be "Christmas." Rather, this is a December "holiday" hop.

But, Christmas is my 2nd favorite holiday of all (Halloween and Thanksgiving tie for 1st place... lol!) so, I went Christmasie.  Plus, she sent me the most GORGEOUS red and white lucite flowers!

Okay, here's a partial pic of the kit itself (I'd already started using it when I realized I hadn't taken pics... oops!)

So, I knew early on I wanted to weave a combination spiral rope and nepal chain, mainly to see if I could do it.  I needed small enough seed beads (11s are perfect for that) and decided to go with red and green, to maintain the theme.

Now, my first thought was to make a bracelet, but then I decided that maybe I would make a garland...  Therein lies the problem....

This is not done...  If you look close, you can see the thread up there at the top....
When I decided to go with a garland, I neglected to take into account that this is pre-finals week for me (the students really want their essays back, you know?) AND we scheduled my mom's retirement party for the same day as this blog hop, and of course, I have LOADS of things to do to prepare for that... But I managed to get about a foot of it done... and then I changed my mind again...  it's so pretty, I don't want it just hanging out in my house.  I want to to travel about! with me!  So now I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it...  I will be putting more of those beautiful lucite flowers on it, at random intervals... Oh, and you see that vaguely holly-berry lookin' bit at the bottom? That's the nepal chain stitch.  So, you know, yay!  It worked!  lol!

Now lest you think I was a total slacker, I did get 2 pieces completed.  Admittedly they were earrings, but still:

More of the awesome red and white flowers, but Lisa also included the orangey flowers as well!  They remind me of orange blossoms, even though I know those are white...  What can I say, I'm weird...  :)

So that's it!  I'm looking forward to finally figuring out what I want to do with the garlandy piece.  Maybe a lariat necklace...  I'll keep you posted!

In the meantime, why don't you go visit the other artists in this hop! Here's the list:

Your Host: Lisa Lodge, Grateful Artist (Pine Ridge Treasures)
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Kimberly Flood, Goddesses and Beads
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Rana Wilson, RanaLea Designs <--you are Here! :) 
Thanks for visiting! 

16 October 2012

You say your earrings don't match?

Neither do mine! :) 

Awhile back, I signed up to participate in the Mismatched Art Bead Earrings Swap over on the Art Jewelry Elements blog. We were all matched up with a partner, made a pair of mismatched earrings, and sent them off to our partner.  

My partner is the wonderful Kay Hand, of the Creative Tangent blog (and you can find her here and here--she has the coolest shawl pins here!!!--on Etsy). I'll show you the GORGEOUSNESS that Kay made for me in a few minutes. :) 

One of my stumbling points as a jewelry designer is that I'm very concerned with things matching. Both sides of a necklace must be even... a bracelet MUST be symmetrical... and earrings HAVE TO MATCH!  In fact, I get downright annoyed with myself when things don't match up.  

I've tried before to break the habit, and I've even bought lampwork beads SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of making mismatched things. Those beads?  Yeah, they're still in the box...
Don't they look so sad?  Non-made dino earrings...  :(  Soon! 

Now, for the awesome!

From Kay, I received the niftiest pair of shoulder-sweep earrings.  These babies are LOOOONG.  I love them.  She used gorgeous lampwork beads, fun charms, chains, bead caps, and quite possbily the prettiest earwires I've ever seen! They're bright, and colorful, and will go with so many different things! 
Here, look! 
Pretty!  Lookit how pretty!  I love them!

And, they're fidgety! I love fidget earrings.  

Kay also sent me the matching bead to the red lampwork in the earrings.  And it has an eyeball!!!

Creepily awesome. :)  I'm sensing mismatched Halloween earrings! 

Now, just before I began making the earrings to send to Kay, I received a bead swap package from one of my bead groups. My partner in that swap, Kelli, sent me the coolest polymer clay skull beads (she made them herself!!  They are AWESOME!!!)  And it had been awhile since I wrapped any wire, so I thought it might be fun to play with that, too.  Plus, Halloween is coming, and it IS my 2nd favorite holiday ever! So, I ended up creating a rather over-the-top (and kinda largish) pair of wrapped hoop earrings for Kay.  
For an idea on size, my form was a pill bottle...   Yes, they are BIG.

And now, the blog list!  Go check out the awesome earrings created in this hop! :) 

08 September 2012

Creative Bead Chat

So, I'm part of MANY great groups on Facebook, but one of them, Creative Bead Chat, decided to host a little "admin appreciation day" for the folks who keep us in line, keep us informed, and generally run herd on a bunch of crazy beaders.  lol!

So, here are some links to some FABULOUS shops that, if you make jewelry or just like to buy jewelry, you might want to check out!

Marla James:www.etsy.com/shop/marlasmud 

Melinda Orr:http://www.etsy.com/shop/orrtec 

Karen Totten: http://www.starryroadstudio.com/ 

Marla Gibson:http://www.etsy.com/shop/spiceboxdesigns 

Keirsten Giles:http://lunedesigns.etsy.com/

You can find beautiful finished designs, awesome supplies, and in general, great folks making fun things!


27 August 2012

Beads for Blogging!

So, as you may recall, the lovely and awesome Tanya of FusionMuse sent me these fun beads to play with a while back:

Lookit the fun I can have!!!! 

For starters, I decided to make some fun earrings. Only, I had to create all the bits:

Ah, wire and tools.  My favorites...   (and the highlighter?  that's the form for some earring wires... and the brass wire at the bottom? That's from Tanya's Etsy shop...)
So, finally, I had some earrings:

These just might be my favorites! 


Pretty pinks! 
I'm still planning a play date with that gorgeous Botswana Agate:

I have to do it justice, you know.  It's SOOO pretty! 

:)  Go see Tanya (here and here)! lol! 

25 August 2012

Soup's on! :)

Time for the Bead Soup Reveal!  I had SO MUCH FUN working with the Soup that my partner, Mary Govaars, sent me.  I wanted to use the multiple skills I've been learning in this soup, so I ended up with a very eclectic, but I think still harmonious, collection.  :) 

Just to remind you, this is what Mary sent:

Pretty, yes?  :)
Since I'm a bead-weavin' fool, Mary sent me some seed beads, and I knew JUST what I wanted to do with them! 

So, without further ado, here's what I did with that yummy soup! 


I used some chains I had on hand, along with green mother-of-pearl disks, and a simple toggle clasp I had on hand to finish off the combo spiral weaving...
I used 2 lengths of a Cellini Spiral, meeting at the loop of the original toggle clasp Mary sent me.  I used this part of the clasp to form a focal for the necklace,  and I created a dangly bit using a gorgeous Blissful Gardens bead I ordered a while back... I also used a basic spiral to form much of the length of the necklace, and connected it to the Cellini spirals using a very haphazard and organic "stringy" method...
Better view of the focal-ie bits... 
And here's where I connected the weaving to the chain...


This is the GORGEOUS focal Mary sent from LL Designs (This pic does NOT do it justice) I really wanted to feature the bead, so I went with a basic embellished spiral.  
I used the toggle from the clasp Mary sent me, and a mother of pearl ring to finish it off! 


These are the beautiful green hollows from LL Designs that Mary sent.  I couldn't resist the temptation to put something INSIDE them, so each one has a few orange seed beads, and three teeny tiny Swarovski crystals. (these may be my most fave earrings ever...) This is my version of "fidget" earrings. :) 
I used more chain to tie this in with the necklace, and created wire wrapped links to connect all the bits together.  I also wrapped the chain in a bit of wire up there near the top just to keep everything hanging neatly...
Okay, so these don't really match the rest of the set, but as I was pondering the big earrings up there, I had the idea to make up these really quickly, too.  And all the bits were part of my soup! :) 

The Set

Okay, not a great pic, but you can see how it all works together! :) 

So there it is! I have one lampie left, and I'm actually working on a piece with it that will go with the set.  Unfortunately, though, I had to do real work last week, and I wasn't able to finish that 5th piece.  Never fear!  I'll post pics as soon as I do! :) 

Want to see more?  
Go check out the rest of the Bead Soup Blog Partiers! 

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
My Partner--->>> Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs :)
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Me! --->>> Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson :) 
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson, Wild Sally Road
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

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!