Rabbit Hole Necklace

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This weekend, I am watching The Great Bead Extravaganza Spring Fling. The Great Bead Extravaganza (TGBE) was the brainchild of Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery and Sara Oehler of Soft Flex as a way to help creative small businesses during the pandemic. It has turned into a wonderful online bead show that they have several times a year. It benefits the audience and presenters alike. I found myself all teary with gratitude this weekend because I’m enjoying it so much. Sometimes I worry when I get in a creative slump that I’ll never feel that creative again. The antidote is a wonderful show like this. Because here’s what happens.

One of the presenters is Kate Richbourg. She works with Beadshop.com. I did buy her bracelet kit but I rarely make the projects during the presentations because I like to watch the presentation first and then watch it again to follow along when I make so I can pause and re-watch as necessary. However, at the beginning of TGBE, I followed all the social media for any presenter I wasn’t already following. I love learning about new creators and suppliers, so that’s one of the many benefits of a bead show. I hadn’t been following either Kate or Beadshop.com before this. During the lead up to this weekend’s Spring Fling, I was paying extra attention to Kate’s Instagram and saw a fabulous multi-strand necklace that was a kit project some months ago. I was enraptured and during TGBE breaks yesterday, I was watching the instructions. I realized that even though the kit is gone, I have many of the ingredients and got a few more from beadshop.com using their coupon code for the show. So while being inspired about making that necklace, she briefly showed another necklace I fell in love with. I found another video on the beadshop.com YouTube channel that talked about this necklace and some associated techniques. I also realized I had beads for that necklace, and that’s the one I started to make.

It’s all related to TGBE because I wouldn’t be following Kate or Beadshop.com without TGBE! I often go down rabbit holes online, but this one was certainly fun and productive. Not that cute cat videos don’t serve a purpose…but I digress.

Above is a screenshot of Kate’s necklace. This was from a Free Tip Friday video series called The Bead Doctors are IN! This is part of what made me all teary with gratitude. It wasn’t just TGBE, but the amount of help and instruction these and other folks offer us. I will be forever grateful to Lorelei Eurto, her blog, and the way she identifies bead artists in her listings for educating me about art beads. In hearing Kate talk about how, even if you aren’t ready to string a necklace like this, if you like these types of beads, you can start collecting them like she and Janice (beadshop.com owner) have for many years to have a stash when you are ready. That made me think about how I will be forever grateful to Andrew Thornton for his Andrew Thornton: Project Destash that over the years was a major contributor to educate me about beads and giving me access to build my stash with beads like this so I had them for this necklace.

Necklace in progress with various African and other beads.

Here is my version in process. The closure is very cool but something I’m going to have to watch the video for a couple of times. I want to get it right. Here is where I got (or think I got) some of these beads. Starting from the left, it is likely I got the long fluted red glass bead (just like Kate’s!) from Andrew, along with those blue Vaseline glass. That large blue and green speckled glass bead is from The Bead Goes On. It was bigger and heavier than I expected when I got it, but if you save stuff, it always finds its project! The vaguely bicone shaped tan clay bead is from an Allegory Gallery kit. The gorgeous large hammered bead (it’s hollow) is from Lennis Carrier. I’m sure I squealed when I opened it because it’s just my kind of thing. The old green bead is an antique Hebron bead from Andrew. I was surprised how little African metal I have. I think maybe I believe I have a lot so I don’t buy it when I see it. Next is a Buddha prayer bead with gold leaf that I think I got at Planet Bead in Milwaukee. The red bead is from now closed Jade Mountain Beads in my town. I specifically remember buying a few of those beads because they were so different from the crystals, sterling and more modern beads I had been buying.

The large resin pumpkin bead I got from Andrew’s destash. I was (and am) so enthralled with it. I bought some of those black beads with the metal band from beadshop.com this weekend since I saw them in this necklace. Then when I was looking through my stash, I realized I already had a strand. Keep track of what’s in your stash, people! But they’ll come in handy. There are several African recycled glass beads in the necklace. I’m not sure where I got any of them, but it’s good to get them when I can get small amounts in different colors just to have on hand for a project like this. The tube bead is bauxite, also from Andrew’s destash.

This was a longer post than usual, but it was fun for me to go down memory lane a little bit while designing this necklace. Even Daniel Tiger enjoyed going through my beads!

Dreaming of Spring

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I’m really wishing for spring at this time of year. And not real spring, because that’s here now. Where I live that consists of temperatures anywhere from below freezing to 60s or even 70s. Lots of rain, melting now, then more snow. There was even a little sleet/hail the other day. I want movie spring when it is sun and budding plants. So I have to make my own.

Necklace with black butterfly pendant with lots of flowers on it. Necklace is made of AB coated frosted rounds with various Czech glass flower beads.

I’ve had some wooden butterflies with beautiful floral accents for a while from Porkchopshow. That shop on etsy is closed, but if you search for it, similar shops come up. I was inspired to buy them after seeing a cool project by Anne Potter. I used a variety of Czech flower beads from Allegory Gallery, and some frosted white AB rounds from I Can Make Jewelry which is having a massive sale.

I knotted it on waxed linen. I’m anxious for nice weather to get here, along with butterflies and flowers. Until then, this will have to do.

One for Me; One for You

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The next Artists for Animals Auction is coming up May 2 – 8, 2022, so I’ve been making things on and off to get ready. I usually just randomly make things, and then closer to the auction, I take inventory and figure out how much more I should have ready. I’m always surprised how much I’ve already gotten done.

This necklace features a purple flower pendant from Denise Peters Galloway of Crystal Emporium. I’m anxious for spring, so I used flowers, leaves and butterflies with a variety of other Czech glass and a few stone beads.

Heart shaped pendant with purple flower in it with various glass beads knotted into a necklace including leaves, butterflies, flowers and rounds. Colors are blues, clear and white, purple, silver, green and bronze.

I also made myself a necklace. I saw some inspiration in a magazine and was looking for a specific pendant in my pendants box. But instead I found a brass feather. I got out my Vintaj patinas and gave it an ombré look using marine, blue fluorite, verdigris and lapis with a little aged bronze for an accent.

Feather pendant in ombre blues with turquoise nuggets knotted with tiny faceted sodalite beads.

I knotted turquoise with tiny faceted sodalite beads. So pretty!

Simple Weekend Makes

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I don’t make a lot of holiday related jewelry. I usually forget to wear it and/or can’t find it. However, I really loved this beautiful crystal four leaf clover. Also, it does not have to be just for St. Patrick’s Day, although I will try to wear it this coming week. I need to get more v-neck or scoop neck clothing for some of my shorter necklaces.

Hand holding a necklace with a green crystal four leaf clover on silver chain.

I got a nice selection of pinch bails from Candie Cooper. I always want to have the right findings for projects, so I’ve been trying to increase the supply in my stash. I added chain and done.

I also made a bracelet. It was inspired by a Jes MaHarry bracelet, but I can’t find it on the website. I seem to always focus on things in the emails that aren’t on the website; they are just background! Anyway, everything on the website is eye candy, so take a look anyway. I’m probably attracted to the layering pieces because I can make something like them. I don’t have the high end materials to make something more like a Jes HaHarry piece. I really admire her style.

Bracelet made of one strand of turquoise blue beaded chain, one strand of clear beaded chain with a clear set glass charm.

I used a couple of types of rosary chain and a little set glass charm. I’ve been wearing bracelet stacks lately, and this will fit right in.

I need to focus on cleaning my studio. It is really out of control. I have three surfaces. None are really workable. It makes it difficult to create. I got a baker’s cart with baking sheets to hold in progress projects, but I have to clean a surface to have a place to put a project sheet!

Picture showing three different studio spaces, all very messy.

I know I am not alone. Heather Powers of Humblebeads had a contest that involved people posting pictures of their studios. But I know I will feel more creative and have more fun and enjoy my studio more if I get it under control. It’s an on-going process. I get it organized, and it gets messy again. This can be my spring cleaning project. I’m going to create an art wall as part of that process. Even if it is just cleaning, I enjoy being in my studio.

Carved Pendant

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I got a carved pendant by Jeni Houser Alasad.

Large carved polymer pendant with varied color of brown, blue and white.

I love the mix of colors in it, so I used a few beads with that blue in addition to a variety of stone, jasper, agate and a couple of different shapes of carved beads. A couple of the larger beads have a shape similar to the pendant.

Picture of carved pendant with various beads in blue, gold brown, grey, mauve.

I knotted the beads on waxed linen. The faded mauve/mulberry bead above the pendant is one I got from Candie Cooper‘s 25 Beads of Christmas. It’s fun when I can work different treasured beads into a piece. I used a Hands of the Hills toggle clasp.

The soft colors are all very lovely together. I’m really happy with the final necklace.

Rock Candy Necklace

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I’ve made a few things this weekend for the next Artists for Animals Auction. That’s good because I had been experiencing a little bit of creative block. I think I just needed to clean a little space on a surface to work! Then I made a necklace for myself.

Heather Parker DeSimone (owner of Leetie Lovendale) was sharing things she picked up in Tucson, and one thing I got was a chiseled crystal pendant. I love the chisel cut. I have a couple sets of chisel cut beads. It is so rustic and so luxurious at the same time.

Rough clear crystal pendant with necklace of beaded chain in cinnamon, lavender and light yellow.

I think the pendant looks like the rock candy I remember from my youth. It was so pretty. I got the chain I used from Candie Cooper‘s shop. I love the somewhat surprising color combination. I think it looks like some sort of candy combination. So this is my rock candy necklace; I think it looks delicious!

Pine Ridge Treasures – Bead Treasure Blog Hop

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Today is the reveal for another blog hop hosted by the lovely Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures. We had color choices for the kits, and I chose green.

A variety of beads in various small bowls.

As usual, the kit was very generous! There were lots of possibilities here. Interestingly, although I’m really a green person, I was drawn to the more neutral beads.

A necklace with grey, gold and brown beads and an arabesque shaped flora pendant with a gold round drop.

I used the grey crystal rondelles and brown bicones from the kit with my own grey pearls and gold spacers. For a pendant, I used a Jeni Houser Alasad connector and added a gold dangle from a vintage chain extender. I finished the piece with the toggle clasp from Lisa’s kit.

After I made that, I had a bit of a creative block. I had the beads on my table, but I just wasn’t coming up with an idea that suited me. Then, a breakthrough! I started considering using one of the large crystals. After contemplating how to use it for a while, I remembered how much I enjoy using different fibers for tassels and thought it would look great with a mostly white tassel using the white pearls from the kit as well!

A necklace with white pearls, rustic metal spacers, a large grey crystal, a back and white tassel cap over white and black fibers forming a tassel.

The idea did not disappoint. I love how it turned out. It has a great balance of rustic and elegant. I searched for the best bead cap to use for the top of the tassel. I had been thinking about using a floral one that I would paint with white patina, but when I saw this more rustic black and white one (from this shop) I decided it was the way to go. I used a variety of fibers from Stitch Whimsy Market for the tassel and included a white beaded chain you can just see peeking out.

I used patina metal spacers between the kit’s white pearls. They are from Supply Your Soul with the Ancient Relic patina. I thought the rustic nature went well with the tassel cap. At the back to make it the correct length, I added a piece of pearl rosary chain. I finished it off a vintage pearl box clasp.

A necklace with various blue, green and purple stones and glass beads and chain, a funky beastie with a striped body and a chain made of various chain sections.

I was putting away some beads, and I came across this cute Diane Hawkey beastie. I was looking for some chain to put it on, thinking perhaps that’s all I’d want. I found this great vintage chain with various blue glass beads, but I only had a short section. Then I thought the blue-green stripes on the beastie also would go well with the green aventurine beads. From the kit, I used 4 green aventurine pillows and 6 Czech glass beads. I think the one on their head looks like a little chapeau. I added a few cacoxenite star cut beads to bring out the purple in the beastie’s face. I added various green, blue, beaded and metal chain for a tassel because I love a chain tassel! I think this turned out so cute.

Thank you to Lisa Lodge for hosting another fun blog hop and providing such a generous kit! Please visit Lisa and the other blogs below to see what other people made with their kits.

Your hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Heather Canepa, Desert Jewelry Designs

Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry

Ann Schroeder, Bead Love (You are here)

Marde Lowe, FanciMar Designs

Gloria Allen, Wings and Beads

Renee Edbrooke – Cianci Blue (sharing a post with Kim Dworak)

Channeling Chanel

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I have collected a fair amount of things that don’t have holes but that I love anyway. Much of it is vintage, and I love vintage things. So I took a couple of classes about using Apoxie Sculpt with Erin Prais-Hintz. That is a two-part epoxy clay in which I can embed things. It cures hard in 24 hours. It is pretty easy to use, but I still need practice. I get nervous I won’t mix the right amount of each part or that I won’t be happy with the less than perfect spacing of items.

Blank square brass bezel with another one next to it with beads laid out in the recessed parts.

Here is a design I was working out last weekend. I have a bunch of shallow square brass bezels. I used vintage no hole pearls and grey nail head sew-on beads. The bugle beads are contemporary. Once the design was done, I used black Apoxie Sculpt to embed the materials. I used a pointed tool to texture the parts that showed. Once dry, it looked sort of like lava rock. I don’t mind that the spacing isn’t perfect.

Pendant of finished bezel with a strand of grey pearls and brass spacers necklace.

I glued a vintage brass bail onto the bezel to make it a pendant. (I will be so sad when I run out of those!) I used grey pearls from Allegory Gallery, some brass spacers, and a vintage grey pearl box clasp. It does remind me a little of the look of Chanel, different than my usual more bohemian, colorful style.

I got the bezel, no-hole pearls, bail, box clasp (and possibly the sew on beads) from Famous Vintage Bead Hoard Liquidation Destash.

I’m doing some smaller projects to give me practice and confidence for larger projects that are still in the dreaming and scheming phase.

Humblebeads Seed Bead Frame Tutorial

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I watched a tutorial Heather Powers of Humblebeads shared on her Coffee Break segment on Friday 2/11/22. It is a simple way to make a frame for a pendant with small spacers or seed beads. It’s really effective to fancy up a pendant. I loved the look, so I tried it.

Floral pendant surrounded by beaded frame on beaded chain.

This is my second try. The first one was probably just one seed bead short and the pendant kept popping out of the frame. It’s just such a great technique! Heather showed it on a pendant that was a different shape. She said you could use it on any shape or even earring charms. I might try it on earrings charms.

I put the finished pendant on a medium jump ring I got from Creating Unkamen. I love their handmade jump rings. They are such high quality. I recommend their shop if you are looking for a variety of handmade jump rings. I got hooked on square wire handmade jump rings from Eden Art Glass. I highly recommend that shop as well.

I put it with honey moonglow beaded chain. I think it looks sweet and old fashioned. I’m sure I’ll use this technique again. Thanks to Heather for the tutorial!

I also bought Heather’s kit for The Great Bead Extravaganza – Tucson 2022 coming up next weekend. Previews are on Friday 2/18/22 and presentations are on 2/19 – 2/20/22. There are a variety of bead and jewelry artists who offer projects, tutorials, kits, sales, new products and all variety of wonderful things like a bead show, but it’s all online! Visit the page for more information.

Pearl Bangle

I recently got some items from a destash, including a sterling bangle with loops for hanging beads or charms. I didn’t have a specific idea in mind, I just like bangles. Then I saw a beautiful Jes MaHarry bracelet. I don’t see it on the website. It was in an email that was actually highlighting rings, so maybe it was an older design. It was some lovely chunky silver chain with white pearl dangles all around it. I thought about using some larger white pearls, but I had a mixed baggie of freshwater pearls on my table, and I thought that would look cool and be a bit more wearable.

Thin sterling bangle with various freshwater pearl dangles all the way around.

I wrapped each pearl onto the bangle with a tiny ball end sterling headpin. I love the movement it has.

In the same destash, I got another sterling bangle with loops spaced further apart. I put emerald drops on that one.

Medium silver bangle with emerald teardrop beads hanging from 4 loops.

It looks great individually as well as layered with the pearl bangle.

Two bangle bracelets from above layered together.

These are fun. I look forward to short-sleeve weather when it will be easy to wear them.