1970s Stripes

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I really like much of the color, decor, and fashion of the 1970s. So the large vintage lucite beads in this necklace really appeal to me. I bought them quite a while ago from The Beadin’ Path. That shop is no longer in business, but if you like lucite, one of the owners now has a business called Leetie Lovendale making beautiful jewelry out of a huge stock of vintage lucite beads she has. Her designs are really beautiful and “today”.

But, back to these beads. The color and design remind me of boys’ striped pants from the ’70s. I know, most people don’t want to remember those! But there is just something that appeals to me. I also love the shape. They are much lighter than their shape would indicate since they are lucite. 

I had a variety of smaller lucite beads that were bicolor or had stripes. I tried a number of designs. I was making it too fussy adding additional colors and spacing the jumbo beads apart with more beads. I think they look better closer together, in all their glory. There is more lucite at the back alternating with some brass beads and a metal clasp from Miss Fickle Media. I could be wrong, but I think I got the smaller lucite from Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery. I know I have another really pretty sort of port wine color of the smaller beads from him, so it seems likely.

Anyway, I’m so thrilled that after some years I’ve used these in a project. When I look at this necklace, those big beads pop and give me a thrill like they did the very first time I saw them.

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Chunkalicious

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I made two necklaces today with the chunky beads I love! The first started with this wonderfully patinaed crown pendant from Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry. I absolutely love its crusty rustiness. 

I looked at the different colors in the patina and thought some chunky, rough moonstone I have would work well. I tried a variety of other things to bring out some of the other colors – different seed beads, colors of linen I could knot, metal beads. In the end I decided to use both seed beads and some rustic metal beads. 

I wanted to add some weight to the pendant (it is hollow in back) so I added a heavy clear rough glass bead and a little rough metal bead to round out the pedant before the strand. I finished it off with a coin toggle with its own lovely patina from Miss Fickle Media. I love the cool white with the warm metal.

Next up, I had these really gorgeous rough citrine chunks. I paired them with a fabulous Sovereign pendant by Andrew Thornton as well as another rough rondelle with a little gold accent also by Andrew Thornton

This pendant is beautiful, and I also love the inspiration behind it. Andrew speaks about art coming from head to heart to hands. For me, art made with love, intention and good feeling is as important – or more important – than skill. Maybe that’s why I love outsider art.

I used large brushed gold seed beads between the citrine. I only had ten of those beads, so I finished the necklace off with some enameled aluminum chain from My Elements with colors from the pendant. 

I am very pleased with both of these necklaces. They seem bold enough to make a statement with winter clothes.

Moonglow

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Moonglow lucite are some of the prettiest beads there are. They have an otherworldly glow that is so special, no matter the color. I recently got several colors and sizes of vintage moonglow rounds from Sondra’s Estate Bead Destash Depot. I think the peach color has the best moonglow; maybe that is just because they are the largest and have more surface to glow!

I bought the beads not knowing exactly what i would use them for. When I got them out to put away, they looked pretty good together, so I thought I’d try to string them into a necklace. I used those, more moonglow lucite I got from Allegory Gallery, a few metal spacers and bead caps and tried them on waxed linen. Something about it just didn’t look right.

Then I thought about the Leetie Lovendale rosary chained rope necklaces I love. (I have two, but I want them all!) The Leetie necklaces are longer and a specific design with bigger beads in the front, but the idea of using the rosary chain style with wire is something I thought might work with my beads. I included the little metal spacers because I often feel my finished pieces would benefit from some metal accents. I didn’t use any bead caps, mostly because I didn’t think about it. But I don’t miss them. 

I used a few other random beads – two purple plastic beads that are a sort of mottled color I like, several faceted plastic topaz color, a few dark wine and one mottled brown – all some form of plastic. I think plastic sometimes gets a bad name; good vintage plastic (Allegory Gallery has a nice selection) has a wonderful look and is light weight. If all of these beads were glass, this necklace could be a bit heavy or uncomfortable. And just look at it glow.

The Beads Speak

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The beads do speak, and not just the beads, but the other components too. The two necklaces I’m featuring in this post had components that whispered the design to me, and they came together in minutes.

First is a necklace featuring a pendant by Yvonne Irvin-Faus. I love her work, and she constantly invents something new. Recently, she had a show with a new line called Toonz that had a distinct graffiti/cartoon style. I really wanted a large black and white donut, and I managed to get it! Yvonne is very generous and sends well-chosen prizes with each order. With this particular order, she sent me a generous length of her Funky Skunky black and white enameled aluminum chain. Perfect! The chain called out to be used with the pendant, and I was game. I only needed one other element for it to feel finished for me. I half-heartedly tried a couple of things, but I knew something would present itself. When I got an order from Lori Anderson’s destash page, she included the perfect thing, a silver (possibly aluminum?) faceted bead.

Each side of the pendant is different.

The second necklace I’m showing today started with a strand of faceted matte quartz rock crystal nuggets. I was putting away the order they came with, and they were so beautiful I just wanted to use them right away. They told me they needed a bold pendant, and I knew that meant one of the Diane Hawkey lentils I hoard. This bird pendant is large and so special I knew it could hold its own with these beautiful, chunky nuggets. I found some frosted glass rounds in a color to complement the pendant and used those as spacers. This is finished with a Patricia Healey pendant.

This pendant is also different on each side. 

These necklaces were so satisfying to make. I will enjoy them.

WIP Finished and Sweet Pink

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I finally finished a long time work-in-progress that I talked about in this post. That was almost a year ago, and it had been around a while then! It features a pendant by Nancy Adams of Round Rabbit. Her focus has shifted from beads, but her shop still features her handmade items, so check it out. I love being surrounded by handmade. 

I used amethyst cubes and green Czech glass to compliment the pendant. I hadn’t really noticed the hole at the bottom until I worked with it. I wanted to add a new design element instead of just an item from the strand, so I chose this Swarovski crystal square. I really like how it looks!

Latish at night, I was working on another necklace which was about 75% finished when for some reason I suddenly decided the finish the above WIP. I wasn’t about to stand in the way of that! But early this morning I finished the other simple necklace. 

I’d had these vintage Czech glass beads on my table for a little while. I love pink, and I thought these sweet little rounds would be perfect with a simple, small pendant. I had considered my Green Girl Studios stash as well as a variety of other items, and then came upon this little charm that says “grace” by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati. This charm was included as a gift in an order. Sometimes I think it means so much to me to use those gifts because of the feeling behind them. Handmade already includes a lot of love and passion; a thank you gift has even more good feeling. Since it was also just the perfect complement to these beads I’d been wanting to use, it all came together. It will be lovely on its own as well as a great layering piece.

Winner – Favorite Things Mystery Giveaway

This giveaway was designed so that entrants would comment with some of their favorite beady things, and I would put together a prize for the winner based on their comment.

There were four entries for this giveaway (pretty good odds!) and I put the names in a randomizer. Divya from Jewels of Sayuri is the winner! Click on that link to check out her beautiful jewelry. I am happy to be able to send a prize with hand picked things that might work their way into some of her creations.

Divya commented, “I love Czech beads and vintage metal components and hoard them because they are hard to come by for me locally. I prefer to work with mid sized chunky beads and findings than tiny ones.”

I’m already thinking about things in my stash that she might like! It will be fun to put the prize together.

Congratulations, Divya! Please send me your mailing address. (You can find my email address in the sidebar under “contact me.”) I will work this weekend to put together a package for you and get it out next week.

Thanks to everyone who entered. It is fun to read about people’s favorite things.

Stained Glass Heart

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I’ve long admired Jael Thorp’s polymer clay work. I recently had the opportunity to purchase some as she has been posting on the Polymer Artisans Marketplace page on Facebook. One thing I got was a heart pendant with a stained glass look. I love the high shine look of this heart; it almost looks like glass. 

I chose an assortment of beads that I thought would go nicely with the pendant. I wanted to string them on waxed linen. I ended up using these in a random way, except that I had to replace the blue ones in the dish with another choice in a similar color because I didn’t realize these were only half drilled!

I thought using the beads in a random fashion would mimic the way the color showed up randomly in the stained glass look of the heart. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I made it long enough to just go over my head with no clasp. 

This is such a pleasing combination of colors. This is where having a large stash and buying beads just because I like them with no project in mind comes in handy. I had plenty to choose from to do good color matches with the heart’s design.

I had first started to work with another heart pendant I got from Jael, but after trying a number of designs, none of them looked quite right. I’ve had another idea. I look forward to trying that and seeing how it works out.

Favorite Things Mystery Giveaway!

Yes, I’m having a giveaway. Yes, what you get will be a mystery. No, it won’t necessarily contain your favorite things. (But it would be cool if it does!) Here’s how it works.

  1. Leave a comment about your favorite beady things (artists, materials, vintage or new, size, shape, findings, components – whatever!)
  2. The deadline is Friday, November 16, 2018 at 11:00 PM Central Time.
  3. I will choose a random person from all those who commented.
  4. I will put together a selection of goodies for you from my stash based on comments about your favorites.
  5. Enjoy!

One entry per person. I think this will be fun! Thanks for playing along.

“Earring Pairs” Is Just a Suggestion

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I often see beautiful beads that are termed “earring pairs” and present themselves as perfect for this purpose. I sometimes use them as earrings. But I if I want to keep them for myself to wear, I use them otherwise because I don’t wear earrings.

That was the case with some beautiful polymer clay dangles I got from Nicole St. Laurent of Raven’s Meadow. They have a sort of Fordite look that I love. 

They would have made beautiful earrings, but I wanted to keep them. I decided to go minimal so as not to distract from their beauty. They are on a copper ring by Gaea and have a vintage glass peal drop. I order a lot of wonderful vintage things from Sondra’s Estate Beads Destash Depot. Whenever she sends an order, she sends freebies. I love using freebies people send. It’s fun to see them find their place.

I finished the necklace with a handmade copper clasp by Gaea. They are perfect for my look. When I buy beads from her, I like to add a clasp or two to each order to keep them in stock. 

A simple necklace that highlights the beautiful materials. Another example is this adorable enamel frog by Cathleen Zaring of Blue Hare Art Wear. Again, they would have made wonderful earrings, but I bought a pair knowing I wanted to use one as a necklace for myself. So, I used the other as a necklace for the Artists for Animals Auction to raise money for Madison Cat Project

Today, 11/4/18, is the last day of the auction. If you are reading this before 8:00 PM Central Time, there is still a chance to peruse the wonderful handmade items (not just jewelry!) from a variety of artists, each supporting their chosen animal charity. Click this link to view the auctions or even join the page to get updates for future auctions.

Earrings – Coming Soon to an Auction Near You

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Here I am again, too impatient to wait until I have good pictures. I was busy today making earrings for the Artists for Animals Auction coming up October 29 – November 4, 2018. My sales at this auction will benefit Madison Cat Project. I haven’t made a lot of earrings since I stopped wearing them, and I really fell out of practice. I feel like recently, in making earrings for this auction, I’ve gotten some earring mojo back. Here is a sneak peak.

These feature some metal components by Melinda Orr combined with sweet polymer charms by Andrew Thornton

Next up are some that absolutely need a better picture because the components are so fabulous, but difficult to photograph. Large (12 mm) Vintage Swarovski Crystal Comet (24k gold) bicones with long, vintage solid brass drops. Both pieces, but especially the drops, have a great aged patina. This is how I like my bling – with a side of grunge. I LOVE these earrings.

Here are some that are pure fun. Vintage Japanese glass hoops paired with some new Halcraft handmade ceramic fish! Yellow is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who like it (me!) these are a ray of sunshine. 

When I knew I was going to participate in this auction, I started having a million ideas. I thought I’d be organized (just a minute – hahahahahaha!!!!!!) and put materials for ideas I had in a box. Well I did that for exactly one pair of earrings, but it’s a really delightful pair, featuring these blue SagaHus fabric and wire components. 

The last pair I’ll show is another with hard to photograph crystals. These are large AB Swarovskis paired with polymer dangles by Sue-Lin Tarnowski. The flash in these cubes is so fabulous I used rainbow wires to match. 

Ok, that’s the preview. I hope you will visit the Artists for Animals Auction starting October 29th to see these pieces (and much more) in their glory. Next weekend I’ll have a photo assistant, so I won’t have to take picture with one hand while holding the items with the other!