Friday, July 30, 2010

Our well has gone dry, I broke a tooth and both area dentists are on vacation, but these necklaces as still happening for me. Lots to be thankful for! Actually these are keeping me sane and giving me great pleasure. They are, however, forcing me to think more about finding an another outlet or taking a load to The Dolphin in Gualala - both things I really hate to do. I can procrastinate if I get back to beading where all my troubles slide down a string into oblivion.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Tuesday Rhoda came by and we went together to Debbe's to "shop" her fabulous bead collection and I came home with a handful of these shell fans that have set me on fire! I thought I was done with stringing for a while but the many ideas for beads combined with the shells have take over my life. Everything else has gotten shoved aside. There are three more necklaces that I didn't even scan.
In the close up you can see that I used crystal rondelles, then some lovely shaded glass leaves from Debbe, and some ecru pearls also from Debbe, as well as some tiny white ones. These are all rather ordinary but I am hoping that by doing them it will form the basis for some new idea.
Hopefully one about clasps.
Rhoda and I are always grateful for the opportunity to shop at Debbe's and shocked at how long we stay. I hope our checks make it worth the effort!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mike, remember the big flower I had totally messed up? I tried it again and this time (thanks to the good advice about how to gently roll the cane) got the flower to show up right. Today I am thinking of cutting away the white before I cut my slice. If I did this again I would use blue to fill between the petals. It might look more like a morning glory!

And I also tried the rose again. Mine is not quite as good as yours because I did not have the transparent so I tried to define the petals with two shades of pink. But I felt I was able to remember and follow your instructions and my flowers are rose-like enough to keep me happy. You cannot see the 'vines' but I tried that also, again lacking the transparent, got my own results. But I found a way to make them really tiny by using one finger against the plate with small pieces.
I was going for leaves with 'veins' with the lines but that ended up looking more like grass so I accepted what I got.
I found it worked to put the flowers on the wooden beads without covering them up completely. I liked the warm color of the wood (here it looks as if they are golden). The polyclay seems to stick well and I have had no trouble with any chipping or the design falling off - so far. Thanks again Mike for a great demonstration!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mike Hanson teaching Lorenzo, our newest member! Lorenzo makes earrings which he sells in Point Arena at Roots. He got acquainted at the car show last weekend. So even though the event was not what we wanted according to sales, it did get Lorenzo hooked into the group. Debbe is his closest neighbor so she has also introduced him to lampworking. The shoulder belongs to Vicki who handles our orders with Fire Mountain.

Here is Mike with his daughter Christina. She has benefited from Mike's 'lessons' at home. She told me how better to roll my cane - with the palms instead of fingers to get even pressure. How quickly she saw what was being a problem for me. Her 'rose' (IMHO) was the very best one of the day!

What a great class Mike gave us on polyclays! He is a very good glass artist, but he took things he knows from making glass canes to show us how to make polyclay canes. Super teacher Mike is, and the hints and helps he gave us were so much more than one gets from reading books!
Mike lead us in making a tiny, tiny rose. Only when he was done did I realize that he had showed us how he and Debbe make those tiny roses on their lampworked beads.
I got to the class late because I started out so early. Thus I took the ridge road which is safer for me to drive than Highway One. As I flew by Bower Park I saw Judy with her stand at the flea market. So I turned around to see her. Yes, she knew of the class, but because we had changed the date, had forgotten it was today. Naturally we started to talk about the class and she came to the car to see the canes I had made. I had left them at home!
So I turned around, went back home to get them and ended up being 1/2 hour late to the class. The others were already into blending their colors and I, breathless and jagged from all the driving, simply could not get started. At some point I joined in with one of my error canes, but when I finally saw what the others made, I was sorry I had not made the effort to catch up with them and follow instructions.
I will see what I can remember and really try to do a proper rose cane today.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today is the bead meeting - with the emphasis on making canes with polyclay. The blue/white ones at the top are the failure to make a flower! I just cut the messy canes into slices and stuck them to wooden beads. That way the holes ARE in the center and the bead is much lighter and it saves clay.
I finally did get a butterfly or bee or or that I stuck on another failure to make a red/black lined cane that came out too close in value to show. The car is something I had tried to make for GAC's car show last weekend which I did not get done in time! It is a good thing that the gals in the bead group are so kind that I am comfortable showing them all my failures!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ah, I finally got the idea of propping the scanner lid up a bit so it didn't mash the puffy parts into a weird shaped bracelet. It is still a bit crooked but this is a quickie report. The forum is under attack by a hacker so I feel as if I have sneaked off the job to even post this. But it was important to me to show you this one that pleases me very much.
Am not completely happy with the straight edge caused by the peyote band. Do I add picots? Or will that distract from the puff?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Every time I finish one of these I think it will be the last one. Then, as in a stupor, I began to gather new color combinations which I just must try. I am going from this, the very most simple one, to a more complex set of puffs in white and gold. The scanner lid mashes the bracelets into this crippled form, to my regrets. I am thinking when the series is finished that I will make a family photo of all of them. But to do that I have to stop starting new ones.

Had a call from Vicki reporting that sales of jewelry at the car show on Saturday at the Gualala Arts Center were very disappointing. We decided that we really need to talk about what we can do. She said one member has very good luck with Etsy. Maybe I gave up too soon.?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yesterday was Werner's birthday so the beads got shoved aside for the day. His birthday continued today when Achie called from Germany so we could listen to Jean and Jule playing "Happy Birthday" and a great Bach piece on their flutes on the phone. Very touching to know we have great-grandchildren playing music!
Looking at his photo, who would guess Werner is now 85! Congratulations, dear!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another in this series. I thought this would be the last one and then while the cat was sitting on my lap a bunch of blue beads began to gather on the tray. On the bracelet above I started with Delicas but the new one started with 15s which has given me another layer of twist. It may be too much swing and swerve but I am hoping that the strap parts will pull it into shape.
Today is Werner's birthday, the brownies in cake pans is cooling, and I am planning how to decorate it. Hmmm, how to use beads to decorate a cake. . . remember those silver balls that took out a filling if you bit down on it? I was lucky to find one package of tiny candles and food coloring in our grocery.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finished this variation on the flat Cellini spiral. The lid of the scanner pressed down on it causing it to bend. Somehow I feel this design should be a pendent because the form looks like the curve in the neckline of a bodice of a low-cut gown.
Already have the next attempt going in greens with this figure in the center and the other curves on each side.
Cleaning day today; tomorrow is Werner's birthday and I need to go back a brownie cake. That is what he wants.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I gave up and scanned this as it seems the plumbers and sunshine will probably arrive at the same time today. Also I wanted to show how many beads from the winner's bag of beads from Happy Mango beads were left over. All these were in the bag except the gray recycled rectangles which are from Happy Mango but were not in the bag. The Capricorn in me loved sorting out the beads and designing this challenge! Thanks to the folks at Happy Mango Beads for giving me all this pleasure! Pleasure in designing the firecracker beads, delight at being included as a winner and joy in working up the prize beads!

Yes, I finished this yesterday but the main work was making a necklace out of the winner's bag of beads from Happy Mango Beads. I want to photograph it out in the studio and for that I need sunshine. We are now in our summer fogs so the sun does not show up until noon. Good for sleeping in. Stay tuned!
I made this because I loved how those diamond-shapes on that bracelet made a week ago popped up. Sue Hanson had gotten a kit that showed her how to make the Cellini Spiral in the flat. Just by looking at the finished bracelet she brought to the bead group, I figured out how to make the design but never finished it in a bracelet. Now I have. I tried to start another one but the first attempt used 8s that were too big and by the time I got the second one started with smaller 8s I was so tired I did not do a good job. Will cut it up and try again today.
I see the color combination for this one was too subtle for the scanner. . .

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Remember me telling you about making a necklace for the Happy Mango Beads 4th of July Contest? Well, to my surprise this was one of the winners!

After I sent off my entry I realized that Happy Mango does not sell seed beads and since that was the basis of my entry it was a lost cause. I never even haunted their web site for the posting because I thought I had no chance at all.

Then yesterday in the mail came this prize bag of beads! I found out they even had to make a category for me to have a win! I was very touched by that. And the fact that I even got this much of a win was a huge boost to the old ego. Already planning in my mind the necklace to make.
So it pays off to get excited about something, let it rev up the juices and just go with the flow - even when it is in the wrong direction! What a beautiful ending to a happy experience. Go to to see the winners and get some of your ideas for a new beadwork.
And thanks! Rhoda for the tip.

Monday, July 12, 2010

So glad the soccer games are over. For a month my cable Internet has gone down as soon as the broadcast of a game began. Usually it was about the time I wanted to post here.
This is one time (the first time?) a project has scanned to look better than it does in real life. I was interested in learning how to make these swirls. In real life they are floppy and you can see threads too easily. I first tried the very round pearl 11s but they were even worse. I was surprised the instructions called for 11s. Maybe with 15s the thread spaces would be smaller.
I tried putting two together to make the rings less floppy. Should I try using 8s? If the finished product would look as good as it does here, I might.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I made this with umteen crystals (the cheap non-Swarovski ones) - a level three grade of proficiency - but was not thrilled with the product. It is the cubic right-angle weave which is so exciting to others; but so far I fail to see the joy. And it is not that hard to do. I am still struggling with the peyote stitch!

It feels like a waste of good crystals - a ploy by Swarovski to sell more crystals. Maybe I am just grumpy today. I need a big project to get my juices flowing and quit trying to make all this piddly stuff in the magazines.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A couple of simple bracelets made with tubular netting. You can see how using different colors for the combination points adds interest - especially when it is very subtle as in the pink one. The article in Beadwork suggested one embellish this project but so far I have not been driven to do that. I tried several embellishments and did not like them. Probably because I did not have the tiny magmas they used. Hmmm, as I was typing this I thought of something in my stash that might work.
Happy Birthday B!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The desire to diagram this took me down several interesting paths. One, I discovered how magical the peyote stitch is. That shifting back and forth on a line may be one of the reasons I have so much trouble with doing it. I even tried making this design with the brick stitch and it basically took all the life out of the piece. It became static and stiff and could not coil into the puff I admire so much. I did this scan of one half of a piece and even looking at this I could not get the diamonds to line up perfectly in the diagonal. I spent the whole afternoon in butchering the idea with one attempt after another. In the end I realized that my way of doing it, by stacking the beads of a color, was probably the best one.
By evening, when the fireworks in Point Arena started I was off learning to do a netted tube. Now to see if I wish to embellish it. As always with netting, I find doing it in two colors makes finding the common point easier to see.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ah the blue version! Was thinking this morning while cleaning house that I continue to make errors with forming the diamonds of various beads. Am thinking that maybe I should make a diagram and try following that. I had not planned to do more of this style, but making and following a diagram adds new interest to the project. We will see what the afternoon brings.
I do love the shape of these beaded parts. As example of my inability to count, I made 6 units before I realized I only needed 5. Hence the 0ne earring. Again the shape is very good when hung from the upper side and it makes a lovely lightweight dangling bit for the ears.
Tonight is the opening of Chip Hooper's photo exhibit in Gualala at Studio 361. Am thinking of going and now I am thinking of making this set mine by wearing it.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

After getting the white, black and gold bracelet in this style done, I felt the 'medallions' were too small so I added another color and got these bigger ones, It only takes 5 of these to surround a wrist. I was so pleased with this size that I immediately started another one in blues but that was all off, The sizes of the various beads was not close enough. Tried again and found a combination that works. I still have no hard and fast rule about when to add a new color and because the pattern is different from one end to the other, I find myself still making mistakes. Some I leave and others I force myself to rip out back to the wrong placed bead and do it again. I am hoping for some 'second nature' response to kick in to guide me, but at this point, I am too often guessing. I think I need to just keep making these until all the pattern secrets are opened to me. I have been listening to Margaret George's unabridged audio Cd's (25 of them) of Helen of Troy. It is like getting the inside scoop on famous people. Better than HuffingtonPost.
Again this morning we found our water tanks are dry, Guys in overalls stand around scratching yesterday's beards and Werner goes off to buy more bottles of fancy spring waters. There are several reasons for the problem and each one is more expensive than the next. Good I got that order to Happy Mango Beads off yesterday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Did this photo of "Starry Night with Fireworks" for the Happy Mango Bead contest and got it sent off today. Went off on a shopping trip then. They have some excellent beads (well beads I like that Fire Mountain does not carry). I was being "good" and not ordering beads I did not really 'need' when I got an email that a chair I had ordered was back ordered again. It had been my payment for helping Werner with Symbiotic Art Band 2. I called and cancelled that so now my conscious is clear for shopping. See those contests do generate business!
Also, entering contests often gets me to thinking of ways to work with beads. I really appreciate that! I know Happy Mango Beads does not sell seed beads, so they will not pick this, but my experience brightened my day. That was my reward!

I finished up the white sample of this idea yesterday and when looking at it on my wrist (MY wrist) it looked too small, too fragile, so I started some bigger 'diamonds' in green. Am surprised how well they scanned! I hope they give you a better idea of this project.

I tried varying the size of the area around the diamond (bottom examples in the picture) and found I prefer my original method the best (the top ones). Now to make the rest - enough for a bracelet.

Our cable internet connection has been going off-line in the middle of the morning for the last 10 days. If I do not get this done before it goes, I am completely stuck. And I am not sure what I have put up here and when I look back on the blog I lose this. Ah, I just found Blogspot had saved the fragments of the posting yesterday before the rest of the world went away.
So, here is the first bracelet of this style. My examples do not look like the pictures in Beadwork, but it could be because I do not follow instructions well. Also the instructions are to work the bead doing top and bottom halves and I think I am doing the left side and then the right. Good thing I am not in a class with a real instructor!