Summer

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I got mixed color Czech glass butterfly beads from the Famous Vintage Bead Hoard Liquidation Destash earlier this year. Not long after, I saw that Allegory Gallery had some beautiful table cut Czech glass flowers and lady bugs in stock. I decided to make a summer necklace.

Two necklaces, each made of a variety of butterfly, flower, leaf and lady bug beads. One is long and the other is shorter with a ceramic, light green four leaf clover pendat.

I also had some Czech glass tulips from Allegory Gallery, used some clear glass squares from the vintage bead hoard and a few leaves and other flowers from my stash. I thought about making it a double strand necklace but decided to make the strands separate so they would be more versatile. One is a long strand and the other is a shorter strand with a lucky clover pendant by Andrew Thornton. I knew I’d have something perfect in my stash. I actually had a bird pendant Andrew made that I thought was a better color match, but I was really feeling the joy of the lucky clover today, so I used that.

These were fun to make. I love all the pretty reminders of the good parts of summer. I hope there are good things in your day today!

Simple Necklace

I haven’t posted here in a couple of weeks. My sweet baby MooKitty had been having health problems, and I’ve been trying to get her well. Unfortunately, I had to make the difficult decision to let her go a couple of days ago. She had 19 good kitty years, and I was lucky to know her most of her life and get to live with her during, as my sister calls it, her “retirement” years. She was the best part of my days.

I thought it might be a while before I posted again, but acknowledging how sad and uninterested in things I felt let me get interested in making this simple necklace. It’s good to ease back in. I have a lot of really pretty rosary chain. I thought why not just combine some of it for an easy short necklace I would like. I see a lot of necklaces with rosary chain on TV and always like the look.

It’s frequently difficult to show chain necklaces at their best because of the floppiness. It is very sparkly on. I think the small, smooth, round beads balance out the sparkle a bit.

I hope eventually my full creativity comes back, but this was enough for now. I leave you with a picture of my wonderful baby, MooKitty.

Sunday Necklaces – Part 2

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I made two more necklaces yesterday. It was such a productive day! The first one was in response to a challenge from Andrew Thornton, as I explained in my last post. The parameters included using blue, the number six (however we interpreted that) and a natural material. I sketched out a design that ended up having nothing to do with the necklace I ultimately made. Typical!

Necklace made from a variety of carved bone, oblong center drilled wood, and small glass beads in a variety of colors.

I got out my box of blue beads and saw these large, organic shaped blue beads. I’ve always loved their grungy look and soft blue color. They are weird in that they are a large hole bead on one side but have a regular sized hole on the other size. I wonder why. I used six of those. I took out a box of natural materials – shell and bone. I chose these carved bone beads. I spied some mixed leftover small African glass beads and a bag of bayong wood beads I got from Allegory Gallery. I really like how it turned out! I didn’t notice until after I’d strung most of it that one of the carved designs on the bone beads is actually a face. One of those is strung upside down. Oh well!

Necklace with gold and verdigris green filigree, love charm and two crystal dangles all on chain.

This filigree and “love” charm in the necklace above are from my May Vintaj VIP kit. The kits come with a great inspiration card showing projects made with the materials. There was a necklace showing this large filigree folded over and painted with patina. I loved that idea, so I used it! I added different dangles – the “love” charm from the kit and two vitrail Swarovski crystals from my stash. The chain is from a repurposed necklace I got in a box of goodies from another artist, and I just love it. Each link is three interlocking oval jump rings. I’ll have to find more like this. It’s just delicate enough. I finished it off with a vintage box clasp. I never would have thought to use the filigree this way. I’m so pleased.

Sunday Necklaces

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I made three necklaces today! I’ll show you two of them. The other is for a challenge next week. I’ve been watching presentations at The Great Bead Extravaganza – Midsummer Market this weekend. Andrew Thornton did a thrown down challenge – make something with blue, the number 6 (however we interpret that) and a natural material. I love that sort of challenge because it’s very specific yet totally open, so it really gets the creative juices flowing. If you aren’t a member of The Great Bead Extravaganza, you can join and watch any of the presentations you missed from this weekend and previous presentations.

Necklace with purple, cream and beige chip heishi shape beads with silver seed beads in between. Pendant is a pottery shard - leaf and butterfly wing design - with decorative solder.

This first necklace uses purple flower opal chip beads and a gorgeous connector from Crow’s Cache Supplies. I’m going to keep this.

Dish with beads - turquoise, horn and glass. On top is a rectangular etched brown shell pendant with a modern design of different squares and rectangles in turquoise.

I came across this Lillypilly pendant in my stash and got out some materials that I thought would go well with it. Here is how it turned out.

Etched shell pendant with necklace of glass seed beads, turquoise chip, horn discs and two larger oval turquoise beads.

This necklace I made for the next Artists for Animals Auction. I like to make pieces over time so I’m not rushing and stressed at the very end. It has horn, glass, and turquoise beads.

I hope you are finding some creative time.

Delicate Turquoise

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When I think of turquoise, I often think of nuggets, particularly chunkier nuggets. However, I got some beautiful small turquoise heishi beads from Suzanne Branca. I decided to use these with a lovely polymer disc from Humblebeads.

Necklace with colorful botanical disk pendant and two moonstone beads on a copper hoop. The rest of the necklace is turquoise and vintage brass chain.

I hung it from a copper hoop by Gaea and knotted between each bead with waxed linen. I wanted the necklace to be long enough to slip over my head, so I added vintage chain at the back. The color in this necklace packs a punch, but it is light, so it will be comfortable in hotter weather. It has been in the 90s a few days lately, so I have comfort in mind.

It’s Hip to Be Square

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Inspiration hasn’t been coming to me as easily of late. I have been in my studio but don’t have much to show for it. But I decided to try again today because I don’t feel right without creating. And I had success!

I picked a box of art beads and considered various items. I was playing with stacking some Kylie Parry discs and thinking about making a tassel. Then I saw a pendant, also by Parry. I liked it with the discs. Then a bunch of colorful square discs – is that an oxymoron? – from Jubilee caught my eye. They were mixed with a few glass square discs. It all started coming together.

Necklace with ceramic botanical pendant (brown with turquoise) three textured round discs (brown, turquoise and yellow) and a variety of colors of rustic square discs, finished with antiqued copper chain.

I strung it together on turquoise waxed linen with a couple of other beads and grey spacers in between. I finished it off with chain. I love the rustic, colorful look of it!

This necklace is proof that creativity is always there just waiting to be found.

Mixed Gemstone Necklace

I got a fabulous set blue goldstone pendant by Andrew Thornton from Allegory Gallery. It was part of a fundraiser for Star Cottage Studio, and it looks like stars twinkling in a night sky. I love it.

I decided that I wanted to combine this pendant with a variety of gemstones, pearls and crystals. Sometimes when I use a strand of gems, I have one or two left over. For example, I had one sapphire left over from a necklace I recently made. It was great to be able to use it with this necklace. I got out a bunch of things and then used the ones that had holes big enough for the wire to fit through.

Necklace of mixed wire wrapped gemstones with silver chain at the back and a blue goldstone set cab in a silver setting with a large, twisted bail.

I used silver jump rings in the front and silver chain in back to connect to the silver of the pendant setting. I love how it turned out. I even found I had a strand of blue goldstone beads and used one of those in the necklace.

Graduated Lucite

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I got these faux amber graduated lucite beads. I’ve always liked faux amber (and real amber). I used all but the smallest size of rounds in this necklace.

Speckled paper with necklace made of amber colored round beads, graduated in size and three citrine "rocks" on the side.

I used multi-color metal spacers between beads since they had larger holes that slid right over the knotted waxed linen I originally tried. One thing I like about lucite is that the beads can be big for a chunkier look, but they are super light. They are a comfortable weight and also stay cooler in warmer weather.

Black and White

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Mary Harding makes gorgeous rustic botanical components. The colors she gets are so lovely, and her black and white pieces are striking as well. I fell in love with a tall black and white pendant. I wanted to keep a more monochromatic color scheme, so I used a couple of large hole moonstone to cover the crimps near the pendant holes, labradorite nuggets and crystal quartz.

Long organic triangular ceramic pendant with botanical design, and alternating clear oval and organic shape grey beads.

I like how this makes the pendant really pop.

Tassels and Lampwork

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I made a necklace with a large lampwork focal and a fiber tassel based on a tutorial Kay Goss of Star’s Beads did for The Great Bead Extravaganza. I loved it so much, I wanted to make more. I bought some great chain, tassel caps and Tennessa McLean lampwork focals from Star’s Beads, and made another! I also caught the fiber bug and can neither confirm nor deny that I’ve place multiple orders to Stitch Whimsy Market on etsy.

Necklace with large cream and dark red focal with an abstract design, copper chain and findings and a variety of colors and textures of fiber in a tassel.

I chose copper metals to go with this bead. In addition to the focal, I added a little raku bead I got as one of the 25 Beads of Christmas from Candie Cooper’s fun bead advent calendar that really brightened my December last year.

I felt like I’d made the tassel a bit too floofy, but it was hard to pare down the fibers since I have so many good ones. It doesn’t help that the flattened bead cap makes the tassel flare out into an “A” shape. I ended up trimming a few so they weren’t all the same length, cutting a couple of wider ones in half and trying to pare it down.

A wider shot of the necklace with copper chain and findings, a large, lentil shaped dark red and cream patterned focal and multiple colors and textures of fiber made into a tassel.

It’s still floofy, but I just love all the colors and textures so much, I think I’ll leave it. Nothing wrong with having a real showstopper tassel once in a while. These necklaces are so fun to make. I’m so glad I saw Kay’s tutorial!

Presenters from The Great Bead Extravaganza gave some great tips on a variety of things this past week for what has traditionally been Small Business Week. You can see the replay of videos about creating a customer persona, branding your business with great packaging, using social media to promote your business, pricing your items and more! There will also be a Midsummer Extravaganza coming up June 12th – 13th with a preview night on June 11th. All you have to do is join The Great Bead Extravaganza page to access all the free content.