Wednesday, December 30, 2009

While cleaning up bead stuff piles in the studio I found these that I had made back in November when I tried to bead and could not do it very well. No wonder! These lizards were done with 15s.
I liked doing the lizards, but now have to engineer a necklace. Because I attached the lizards through the middle hole of the donut, with a flat turquoise bead, I need to find some way of getting to the top of the donut so it hangs from the area of the head. Maybe now that I am back to being my old self I should cut these up and build in the top attachment feature while applying the lizards. Sometimes I wish I could invite someone in for a cup of tea and good advice!
I cannot believe I started another lariat necklace last night in lapis. At least I was able to put the yellow beads back in the basket and switch colors. One must appreciate even small steps when trying to make a change - I tell myself!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The world/universe surprised me again! Suddenly just as I was about to sit down to bead, the sun came out and I knew I had only three days left this week to get a decent photo of the pillar shrine that is still up from the Shrine Show in October. So I dropped everything and drove to the Gualala Arts Center before the next rain storm moved in.
Above you can see the whole work and then a closeup. The job was to fill the viewfinder with as many beads, as large as possible. The space is so beautiful and part of the elegance of the beadwork is its long narrowness but that makes it very hard to photograph its complete length.
While talking with Karen at the desk, open during the holidays! thanks for being there Karen! she suggested that I enter the work in the coming show, "You Be the Judge" so I reread the rules this morning. Just sent her an email asking her to enter it. I gave the hanging committee an out in case they are tired of the piece and just want it down. I also changed the price to NFS since I have a nibble of interest from very nice people.
I did take the time yesterday to readjust the bells so they are again just brushing the floor. Someone, with a kind heart, added knots so the bells were higher and perhaps safer but the danger is part of the work.
In the evening I did finish the golden argonite lariat necklace and started a new one. These chips are larger, and therefore heavier, than the glass chips so I am trying to make this next necklace lighter by shortening the chip parts. We will see.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I never name my jewelry pieces (maybe I should start?) but this necklace has such unusual colors that I kept thinking of "Kelp at Low-tide" while I worked on it. Have even thought of adding a tag with the title. The colors of the beads do not show up at all here so the title is not so necessary.
Also, I could not believe that I was making another one of these since it seems they do not sell! But I really like doing them and I love the newest idea of adding more dangles on the circle, so I have just started another one using the golden aragonite chips. Love the colors - warm pink golds - but realized I have made several other necklaces with these same beads. That's what happens when one buys the beads by the pound!
Am also thinking of getting my account at Etsy up and working. Finished another round with the Circus Forever book today and am feeling somewhat freer, but I know that next week I must begin LYNX.
Maybe I will let all the many clasps Bambi sent me for Christmas lead me into bracelets. I dislike bracelets because they are so quickly done and all too-soon I am fussing with findings. We will see what the afternoon brings!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is not the official portrait of "Springtime" - for that I have to take down the Christmas tree and all the decorations from half of the room - but I was eager to show you my latest work. It was sooooo good to get off of jewelry and back to an 'art piece' and I really enjoyed watching it come together and take shape as I solved various problems.
I love how the two colors of loose beads in the bottom make it look as if there is water in the dirt! Then come strings of red and yellow beads with 'bumps' of big acrylic beads. Then I use the largest headpins I had to line up the greens for some very stiff grass. Fortunately I also had a packet of those plastic crimps, which I would never use on jewelry!, but found them to be excellent for this job.
I had to do the 'flower' things twice. The first time the wire (24 gauge) bent too much so on Christmas Eve we made a quick trip to a hardware store to get some 18 gauge. I used that as base with 6s strung on the wire and then wrapped 11s on very thin wires around them. I was going for more 'spring' in the springs, but that did not work out.
I felt I needed some sort of a base to the vase and went to S&B Market in Manchester - an all purpose store that sells hardware, clothes and groceries, where I found the perfect glass base (for candles?). Also in my last Fire Mountain order I bothered Vicki one day late to add on a pound of silver-lined 11s and they were just what I needed! So thankful to have everything the piece wanted to have!
It goes in the "You Be the Judge" show on Jan. 9th at Gualala Arts. I have no hope for winning a place (who knows how to judge a work made of beads?) but I greatly enjoyed the journey and the experience of accompanying this piece from sketch and on to its final official picture.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Even Werner had fun playing with the new beads from Bambi!

Yes, Christmas did bring me beads! Bambi sent me a great wooden box full of deep drawers to hold a lot of stuff! Not only did she send the box but in each drawer was a couple packages of treasures from her stash of beads. I got a lot of stuff that is NOT in the Fire Mountain catalog! It was great seeing and thinking of new projects with clasps and focal beads that were totally new to me. I need to get out more. Or have Christmas more often! Thanks Bambi! Great gift. And she wrapped it "green" - in a marvelous pillowcase that is tie-dyed and a real blast from the past! No paper to burn and even the ribbon was reusable! Way to go my girl! Thanks so much!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jasper Lewis Vetter
Age: 20 months

And you wonder why I have no beading news! This is the best project going!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I had made a pair of earrings as a commission with the white Zirconian teardrops that were to be sent to Scotland as a Christmas present. Because of my reduced activities (ahem!) I tried to include them with the other things being sent to the Festival of Trees. Accidentally the earrings were sold there instead of being given to the right person. So she called and asked if I would make another pair for a birthday present. I couldn't get another set of the Zirconian drops in time so I tried making the earrings with these whopper faceted teardrops from Swarovski. I really like these! They have the weight and mass of current jewelry fashions! Now to talk my customer into liking them. I told myself I had been making too many of the lariat necklaces and that I was surely boring anyone who was following this blog. Before the operation I had been laying out bracelet combos but had never gotten any of them assembled. When I started to put together what I already had designed they no longer interested me. Instead this happened! And then I did four more bracelets - all which are going to be recycled without you seeing them. I love this about beads! There are no real failures - just reconfigurations!

So I returned to the safety of the lariat necklace. One reason was finding a skein of the pink rhodonite and the pink glass circle. Notice that I am adding embellishment to the circle so there is more mass at that point. I had been feeling that the look was too skimpy around the circle. I am pleased with this addition. In the meantime I have misplaced the bag with the green circles and wooden squares. That alone may stop the lariats better than any resolution.

When I started the lariat above I used this combination. It looked to blingy for the subtle stones so I just cut it off. When I got the lariat done, and was clearing things away I found the scrap and laid it on my wrist. Nice bracelet! So I added more and put on one of the flower clasps I love and have so many. Maybe this is the next project - spiral chain beaded bracelets. Who knows?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Had a good day beading and enjoyed working up the teal glass chips. Did this necklace and also a regular choker style (like the lady wanted). I ended up using almost all the chips. In digging through my stuff, to find beads to take to the bizarre bead bazaar meeting on Saturday at the Beads 'N Beyond meeting, I found a bunch of tiger eye chips and started one of these long lariats with them. It is cloudy and rainy today so I hope I get a quiet afternoon of beading.
Did you notice I have a new way of knotting the ropes at the top so the whole thing fits on the scanner?
Hi to Ellen for checking in here!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When I cleaned up around my beading chair last night I found I had also done this necklace with the mother of pearl chips on the weak end weekend. I used 6s for the spine and feel they are too big. They were easy to bead with when my eyes were fuzzy but I am eager to do this style again with 11s and 15s instead of 6s and 11s.

Stayed up way too late last night to get this done. I cannot believe how different my life is now that I am beading again! I also cannot understand how I went a whole month without beading. Here I used the new matt black 8s with some rainbow cobalt 11s that I had from another job. The lapis are from a strand of lapis and one of "denim lapis" that I picked out most of the gray junky beads. Will never again be misled by the neato name of "denim lapis" into buying inferior quality stones.
Before I went to bed I had to start a new necklace in this style with the glass chips I had left from the job that the lady cancelled because I did not have her necklace done by her deadline which I never knew about. Nothing lost, but somehow just seeing the job on my desk nags at me, so I thought I would make up the beads and get them and out of my life and get on with things. In spite of everything I am enjoying working with the sparkle of the glass chips.
Sent an order off to Fire Mountain and got lots of their promotional chip strands. Not all the beads on these are usable but enough are to still make this a good deal. Also these necklaces take more than one strand so it is great having plenty.
I just measured and these necklaces are five feet long - big enough to also be a belt! Love this design.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finally am able to bead again. The first few days were so short! So soon my vision blurred and each bead was only a blob of sparkle. Yesterday I finished this lariat necklace. This one has some of those "new" jade chips from China. They have an onyx-like shine even when they are rough and the warm golden color goes well with my stash of amber and golden beads. Also did another one with the mother of pearl chips and the same beads which also looks good.

I sent three styles of necklaces to the Festival of Trees. All of the ones in this style sold, a few of the short necklaces with chained beads and chips sold and none of the lariat style with a ring sold. So for now I am concentrating on the longer lariat style.

Am doing another one with matt black 8s, bright blue 11s and lapis chips.
Also I am preparing my Fire Mountain order to start my entry in their seed bead contest next spring. It was an idea I had last year and did not have the time to figure it out and make it. I have had enough sitting down days to make sketches this past month so I feel I know how to make it.