Darn Good Beads Kit Design

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I’ve written before about the bead kits I’ve gotten from Darn Good Yarn. They’ve sometimes come with project ideas and sometimes just with beads. I like both because either way, I use the project idea or come up with one of my own. This kit was actually a project, though the materials got separated from the instructions. That was ok because I knew I wasn’t going to make the project anyway. There was some stringing material that I will keep for something else; in fact I’ve already used a little for another project. But I saw the strand of beads on my table and knew they’d be great knotted on waxed linen with a large, curved African bead as the focal.

I’ve had the focal for a while, and it needed just the right thing. Sometimes I think with a large bead like this I’ll use other large beads. But this bead was quite heavy. While I like the look of necklaces made with lots of heavy beads, I don’t tend to wear them. I need something lighter and more wearable.

The shape turned out just perfect. I wanted it to be a little longer than the strand of beads, so I added a bit of chain at the back with a nice sized swivel clasp to balance out that hefty focal bead.

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Maker Blogs 8.10.18

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I bring you the maker blogs for this week!

First up on Beading Arts, Cyndi shares her modification of a chenille stitch rope. Beautiful!

Over on the Crafts and Dollies vlog posted on the Crafty Princess Diaries page, Tammy talks about not having it all. Anyone who makes knows that while we might want to, we can’t have all the things. Tammy talks about moving out some of the old to bring in the new. I think destash is so win-win. See Tammy’s “new” below!

Next, on to Tapping Flamingo, Terry talks wedding jewelry and accessories. From traditional to modern, she’s got something for every wedding. 

Andrew Thornton is back with another curated selection from his stash, this time, beloved owl beads, like this one below from Green Girl Studios.

Speaking of Green Girl Studios, Allegory Gallery took a recent trip to their studio in North Carolina and shares this video of Greg Ogden talking about the lost wax casting techniques they use to make their beads and components. Really fascinating!

Thanks for stopping by.

Easy and Fun

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I was looking at an Andrew Thornton: Project Destash event a little while ago, and a strand of resin tiger heads came up. I jumped at the chance to get it because they were so cute, it was a wonderful price, and I knew both my father and I would enjoy them. I got them and they were even better in person! They are fully figural, with a face on each side, so no matter which way the bead turns, it looks great! 

As I often do, I love the beads just in their strand. So I wanted to make something fairly simple. I thought I’d go on a search through my stash for just a little bead to go in between each head for a bracelet, but I didn’t even need to do that. I had some perfect sized striped seed beads on my table that I had recently used for another project, and I thought they were just the thing.

Just a short time later and ta-da! This bracelet is so cute and just what I wanted. I really like these snap clasps for when I want something that doesn’t take up much space. This is the kind of design that would be good for a stretch bracelet, but those often fit too close for me. A small clasp and Soft Flex is my choice. This is actually a medium size of the snap clasp. They come in a smaller variety.

One of my local bead stores, Meant to Bead, is in the business area where there was a tragic gas leak explosion and is still closed. When they re-open, I plan a shopping trip to support them. I am adding a variety of sizes and finishes of the snap clasps to my list.

This was another fun, easy make that turned out just how I hoped. I’m interested to see what my dad makes with his half of the strand.

Maker Blogs 7.29.18

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Here is the next installment of my new feature, weekly maker blogs! First up is Tapping Flamingo where Terry talks about the evolution of the cute surfer bracelets in her Tapping Flamingo Bling etsy shop and how they support people with autism. 

Next, on The Crafty Princess Diaries, Tammy shares how important details are when crafting, especially on a small scale, like her Blythe Doll dress. You can also get a bit of an understanding of the breadth of her crafting if you watch the short video where she briefly mentions quilting, shows a finished crochet project, and shares more dolls and handmade doll clothing. 

On Beading Arts, Cyndi shows a gorgeous beaded Russian spiral rope project that she calls “quick.” I couldn’t do that in a million years! But, with her skill, it is a nice project to have for a busy summer. I love the colors!

On The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton, Andrew features his make for the Inspired by Reading Book Club. This month, they read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I love what Andrew made, and the author herself stopped by to take a look! Andrew ended up making a necklace version to sell for a charity of the author’s choice, and I just had to stop mid-blog writing to buy one for myself!

Over on the Allegory Gallery blog, they are sharing some of their latest offerings in their still new online store, including handmade pendants by artist Andrew Thornton and whimsical ceramic face beads by Dana Swisher. I can attest to the beauty of the work of these artists because I own some from each of them. These long bails offer so many options to customize the pendants – hanging more charms from it, wire or fiber wrapping, etc. Get creative!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. For me, when it comes to blogs, more is more!

Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Wild Jungle

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This is my reveal for the Wild Jungle challenge kit from Allegory Gallery. I love Allegory Gallery design kit challenges because they really get my creativity flowing. I’m going to show you Andrew’s photo of the kit he put together because I neglected to take one. 

My first necklace used the strand of chip beads and the mystery component, which was one of Andrew’s laser cut wood pendants, a leaf frond that he colored green. I really love it. It’s green on both sides but slightly different in that one side is glossier than the other. it would look good either way.

I found a strand of colored wooden beads a few years ago at the thrift store. I thought they were perfect for this necklace. I finished it off with a flower clasp.

I made a second necklace with the vintage plastic “resin” bead as the center focal. 

The luxury bead blend had several little coconut stick beads. I really like them and wanted to use them. I tried several designs, and in looking for wooden beads to use along with the kit beads, I found I had larger coconut sticks! I used those on both sides separated by colorful seed beads I had on my table. The kit had both a glass and a coconut flower bead, and some plastic animal print beads I used to round out the front of the design.

I combined a few more kit beads with some wooden rounds from my stash. I included a few of the seed beads to bring the color from the front of the necklace around to the back. I’m really excited about the pieces I made for this challenge. One of my favorite clothing designers, Gudren Sjoden, has an autumn collection called Fall in the Forest. These necklaces will go great with that collection.

Please visit the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge page to see what other people made with their kits.

 

 

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Maker Blogs 7.20.18

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I really enjoy reading blogs, so I thought I would share some other makers’ blogs. It’s interesting that so many creative people explore – and excel at – more than one medium.

On the Beading Arts blog, Cyndi makes a lovely pendant from Bead & Button magazine using dagger beads and then changes it using her own design twists (photo below). It’s always fun to see how artists take inspiration and make it their own. 

Have you ever thought you’d really enjoy something and then been reluctant to give up the idea? On The Crafty Princess Diaries, Tammy Powley talks us through her experience deciding not to be a Blythe doll customizer. She prefers other doll related crafts, like sewing clothes. Notice the doll’s cute dress in the short video included on the post. 

In this Tapping Flamingo post, Terry talks about the trials and tribulations of setting up an etsy shop. She’s learned some valuable lessons along the way. I know this is a topic many people are interested in. Am I ready to open a shop? Should I use etsy as the platform? Learn from Terry’s experience!

Do you like bug beads? If so, you are in luck. Andrew Thornton shares some wonderful examples from his personal collection, including the Anne Choi bead below. I always love a good “look at these gorgeous beads” post. You might even be introduced to a new-to-you artist!

Over at Allegory Gallery’s blog, they are launching their latest design challenge kit, Coral Coast. This kit was inspired by the treasures that might be brought to us by the surf while sinking our toes in the sand. The colors of this kit are peach, coral, creamy ivory, reds, pinks and shell browns. Delicious! You can see the full kit on the blog, except the handmade mystery component. That is a secret until it arrives at your door. I’ve just purchased my kit. They are limited, so don’t delay!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour through some other makers’ blogs. Maybe you’ll find some new ones to follow!

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Black and White

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I fell in love with some image transfer on polymer pendants by Jenny Davies-Reazor. This art nouveau style pansy has also been accented around the edges with paint which might be the touch that stole my heart. I do love a black and white scheme too. 

I had these simple cut black beads sitting on my bead table for a while because I had many ideas for them. I had never completed any of the design ideas because apparently the beads were waiting to be united with this pendant.

I also had a pair of SagaHus Components in black and white on my table. I love the stitching on the fabric! 

I added some lightweight aluminum chain at the back to have a choice of lengths depending on my neckline. I believe these black beads have found their project. I’m really happy with how it all looks together. 

 

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Another Patina Day and Mod Podge

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My mom and I had another patina day! We were very pleased with the results. I also tried an idea I had with Mod Podge and was super pleased that it turned out as well. So, I will just get right into the show and tell. 

I got one of these lily of the valley stampings from Sondra’s Estate Beads Destash Depot. I have gotten a lot of great things from Sondra, so check out her page if you have a minute. Tons of stampings for sure; many of the older really quality, heavy duty kind. Anywho, I forgot to take a picture of mine nekkid, so Sondra let me use hers. I used Vintaj patinas in marble and a mixture of moss and seafoam pearl for the green. I used the Vintaj reliefing block because I always like stampings to look old. 

My mom patina-ed another lily stamping I got from Sondra with the same colors. Here are the original and color versions, with the original once again by Sondra Jackson.

I didn’t go in with a solid plan for this pewter dragon fly focal by Fire Goddess that I got from Andrew Thornton’s destash. I kept changing my mind, but in the end I think it turned out kind of fun. Here are three quick pics: the original pendant, with bronze patina and some reliefing, with white gold, ochre, and carnelian. 

I guess I didn’t get many before pictures. My mom had a silver face pin that she patina-ed with verdigris, ochre and cinnabar mixed with garnet. Here it is in progress and finished. 

My mom also had an old brass vase stamping; here is a picture in progress and finished.

I had these fish I was just going to lightly patina with sea colors, but they were smoother than I first thought. The patina didn’t take well, and I would have had to rough them up. They are way too cute to even consider doing something that could ruin them, so I decided to leave them as is. I just wanted to include them to say that not everything ends up needing patina! These are also from Sondra Jackson.

The last thing I patina-ed is some copper chain. I thought it was a good candidate because it was so heavily textured, and I didn’t really like it that much in its natural state. I have a pendant I want to use it with, and I chose moss patina. Here is a picture of the patina (right) and then after I reliefed it (left).

I cut the chain, so I had some extra bars. I said I was going to throw them away because I can’t keep every little thing – that’s why my studio is the way it is (giant mess). My mom decided to keep them in case I needed them at some later time. Not minute later I broke one of the bars being a little too rough with my reliefing. My mom was able to hand me one of the spare bars (that I had tested the patina on, so it was already done!) and I fixed it. My mom is the smartest!

One last thing I did was Mod Podge some old flowers I have onto a wooden bead. Hope Smitherman’s blog showed a project with washi tape earrings. I think that in combination with another project I saw but really can’t remember made me think about a little table I Mod Podged with tissue paper. It turned out so cute! I figured I could do that on wooden beads. I looked through my paper craft supplies, and I really wanted to use some old flower items a friend had given me. I got the wooden beads from St. Katherine’s Supply Co

And here is the finished product in my first ever video on my blog.

Whoo! That was a long post. I hope you enjoyed it! You will be seeing these items turn up in finished jewelry in the future.

 

 

 

 

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Simple and Cool

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The hot temperatures in my area, my own aesthetic and the inspiration of a new (to me) jewelry magazine has resulted in today’s necklace. Right now it is 91 and only getting hotter. I am lucky to be able to be inside with air conditioning, but I like having jewelry that I could wear outside even in the heat and still stay cool.

In addition, I’ve recently learned about an electronic jewelry magazine by Anne Potter called Travelogue. She was a frequent contributor to the late, lamented Jewelry Stringing magazine. Travelogue offers great photos of travel-related inspiration and then projects based on that inspiration. The projects are very doable but can be customized to your own skill level. Not based on any specific piece but just the feeling of simplicity, I took some beads I really liked and made this effortless piece.

The owl focal is by swoondimples. His name is Stewart. I got it in 2016 when the Pantone color of the year was a duo – rose quartz and serenity blue. The pink Czech glass I got in a destash. I just really like pink. It was my favorite color as a little girl, and although sometimes I like to think that has changed, it really hasn’t. I believe that is why I was more intrigued with the Pantone color that year than some other people. I had something else in mind for those little pink beads, but this project asserted itself. I was actually going to use some other spacers in the front for an accent, including some more rustic metal to give the piece a little bit of a harder look. But I decided on these simple eye beads I’ve had since the beginning of my beading days. Since I’ve kept them this long, they deserved to be used.

This sweety tweety little necklace will be fun to wear with my sundresses this summer.

One other thing about this post: the picture. It’s very sunny here, and usually I would have to wait until dusk or perhaps early tomorrow morning to get a picture. This picture was made possible in real time right after I made this necklace by Heather Powers of Humblebeads. I love her beads and other artwork as well as the free projects she shares on her Bead Table Wednesday videos. A couple of weeks ago, she made one about taking better photos with your cell phone. Oh my goodness, she gave a few easy tips that really helped my photo game. It was fun to put them into action after watching the video this morning. Thanks, Heather!

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Vintage German Glass with Resin

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love vintage German glass. I love strands of it, but even more, I love little mixes of it. A variety of lovely shapes, colors and textures…sigh. I also love quirky beads and findings of all kinds. These things came together in this necklace with supplies I’ve collected from one source. I’ve gotten a number of vintage German glass bead mixes from Ava Motherwell’s Facebook site. Look at all these beauties!

Every last one of them is super gorgeous. Ava also sells a lot of resin on Facebook and on her website. I always love the unusual things I’ve never seen before, like these glowy unicorns I used a while ago. This time I used a gold plated resin tassel. 

So cute and unusual! I believe it pairs well with the variety of glass beads. 

I built up the pendant a little by using three of the glass beads, including a fabulous little tent shape. I’m thrilled how this turned out. I’ll have fun wearing it!

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