Friday, January 21, 2011

Let It Snow

While everyone around me moans about 'more snoooooow!?!', I revel in the stuff. Having grown up in NW Ohio, I am used to Winters with lots and lots of snow, below freezing temps, ponds and 'cricks' that actually freeze over that you can skate upon, not to mention roads that were rarely plowed (except maybe the main roads) but we still drove to work, the buses picked up children all over the rural county, and the snow was just a way of life.
Did I mention I adore snow? It has so many facets and types of snowflakes that someone actually wrote a book about it, and how to identify the many types, as well as what to expect when the humidity, air temps, and changing fronts might produce in the way of these lovely bits of frozen water.
The colors of snow reflect our world around us; the skies, the shadows cast by trees and buildings, the sunlight refracting through its crystalline structure.
To this end, I created 'Let It Snow', and have tried to capture just a few of the myriad shapes of individual snowflakes, as well as what it looks like to be in a night snowfall...
Using just four colors of delicas, plus one of charlottes to edge and some size 15 around the clasp and underneath the two-hole CZs at the clasp ends, this creation worked itself bit by bit to its end.
I love it!
I do thank Margie Deeb for posting her version and getting me inspired to create my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What a fun set of earrings!

I have had my eye on these earrings and this
pattern ever since I saw it done by Kassie of
The Beading Butterfly, way back when the mag
issue first came out. I was doubly reminded of
the pattern when Genny S of A New Bel-Gen
did her own variations using Swar glass pearls.
I hope you like the ones below, and do try this
pattern for yourself! It is fast and easy, making
it a wonderful gift item for the last minute, plus
being able to use any style bead allows you to
fit it to the giftee easily....even wooden beads
would work nicely!

Probably the closest to Amy's pattern, using
6mm, 4mm and 3mm Czech faceted FP, but did
them double sided, with the FP held firmly in
place with the netting, and carrying the netting
around to the 'back'. Which side is the 'original'?
You will have to guess!! I love them both.
SS earwires.

Purple Velvet Satin and Satin AB Swar bicones
in 6mm, 4mm and 3mm, with PF gold Tohos in
11s and 8s- additional 15s on either side of the
8s used near the base of the 6mm for looks and
to prevent thread wear at these points. My
birthstone, so my fav pair!
GF earwires.

Again, Swar bicones in 6mm, 4mm and 3mm,
but with all the netting in the same blue, so
as to not distract from the crystals and be a
bit more subdued in look.

These were done using Chinese 6mm faceted
roundelles, Chinese 4mm bicones, and Czech
3mm FP, with titanium wires.

Here they are done in 6mm and 4mm Indian
agate, with 3mm garnets, plus PF Toho Rose
Gold seed beads.
Copper earwires.
Just think of what possibilities YOU can do!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A New Year

Another January, looking back on last years 'resolutions'- be more organized with my beading area, get up regularly to play with the pups and cats or just go for a stretch, every-other-day yoga, drink more water- I did pretty well with all of them.
So, here are the new ones; submit more pieces to the beading mags (actually got accepted for the Bead and Button Dec 2011 issue!), bead immediately on RR pieces that come my way, create at least 2 pieces a week for sale at shows.
Not a whole lot.
But added to moderating several yahoo groups, keeping up with the beady challenges there, and having a great life with my DH, that is plenty!
To this end, I did triage in both Facebook and Yahoo Groups, removing 'Friends' who weren't, and whose interests I no longer shared, like games, etc, and whose group owners were more about crowing over their creations, then generally ignoring what the other members did, as well as group owners whose groups have 'died'- no messages for two years. While this isn't a huge deal, it is one less thing to clutter my mind.

In the beady world, did a bit of exploring the Dec 2010 issue of Bead and Button- what IS it with the size 10 delicas everyone seemed to have required for those projects???? I don't have a good local source for them, and don't want to start acquiring alot of one-size-up from the delica 11s I finally managed to get enough of.
I will be trying 'The Right Connection' bracelet by Eileen Spitz from that issue, but using size 11 delicas- funny that the opener for this pattern states 'enjoy the time-saving design that uses 10o cylinders for faster stitching'. Really? Faster stitching? Do they stitch themselves? Faster stitching as far as making a wider bracelet, perhaps, but if you use the same bead count, it goes at the same speed LOL! Geez Louise. It does look like a great little bracelet, and I am going to see if using the 11o delicas and maybe 3mm bicones or even CzechFP doesn't work just as well. I do like that they mentioned using any pattern for the base.

However, in the realm of 'WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING?', I tried starting the 'Grand Circles' pattern from the same issue, by Jonna Ellis Holston. My DH tried to dissuade me, as he pointed out to glaring markers for this being a failure (the creator teaches at the Sawtooth School of Visual Aaaarts in Winston-Salem, NC- a hoity-toity wannabeeanwishtheywereNCSchoolOfTheArts place, and she uses her maiden name as her middle name), without knowing anything about beading. I should have noticed that there was absolutely NO indication, except in the materials list, that this was a necklace. It appeared to be a bracelet from the photo.
Add to this that I didn't even subscribe to B & B in 2008, because I didn't like many of the projects that year.
I should also have known that the stitch, herringbone, used with size 8 hex on the outside, was NOT going to be strong enough to keep this circle flat, instead of floppy even with 6# Smoke Fireline. Still, I liked the look and so gave it a try.

Even adding more beads to the center didn't help. You can see how wide these babies are! I will not make another, but feel this one will make a good bit of decoration on a beaded art doll, with a nice cab captured in the center and beaded flat onto the doll. Too bad the latest doll from Dian requested bright colors LOL!

So, on to the next, and Happy Beading, everyone!