Cherries!

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I love 1940s fabrics. I’m typing this sitting on my couch with a 1940s quilt right now. The main motifs that come to mind are florals and fruit. So, this cherries pendant by Gaea has always reminded me of my beloved ’40s fabrics.

I also love this particular muted color of green in the ruffle frame and the one large bead. I used it when I painted on my basement steps. 

My mind has been working overtime on jewelry design lately, and I have ideas right away for things I buy rather than squirreling them away for a long time. I just got this pendant less than a week ago, and put this necklace together as soon as I got some time. 

I used six of Gaea‘s beautiful beads that came with the pendant. In a random beads box I got from someone, I got several of these little dangles with three red beads. I had thought I’d make a cluster with all of them at one of the transition points, but I could only find one. It’s still cute there at the bottom of this double strand of vintage beaded chain in that lovely muted green. The rest of the necklace is made up of baroque red Japanese glass beads knotted on waxed linen. I finished the piece off with one of Gaea’s hand formed copper clasps.

These colors make me happy. I know just what I’m going to wear this with, and it will look so cute!

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Sweet Beads

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I have become a fan of Melanie LeGrand’s work. You can see it here on her Instagram page or in Angelic Whimsey, her etsy shop. She also sells on Facebook which is where I got this sweet little deer pendant. 

I really love soldered pendants and hope to learn soldering myself someday. But until then, I know where to get great pieces! The pendant is small, so I backed it with a rustic blank from Vintaj to create a larger pendant profile. 

I made the necklace out of rustic pink feldspar rectangles and small jasper spacers. When I opened the bag of feldspar, there was a carved leaf bead in there that really echoed the look of the leaf in the pendant, so I used that too. Meant to be!

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Darn Good Beads – February 2018

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I’m still enjoying my Darn Good Beads kits from Darn Good Yarn. This month we got a variety of rustic beads with a project idea for a necklace. 

I decided to go my own way by choosing four of my favorite beads from the kit and mixing them with beads from my stash. 

I used two of these large black striped hourglass beads and a large and medium yellow round. I added black and yellow striped bicones, black and gold twisties and these small yellow bullseye beads from my stash. 

I think it turned out great! I like black and yellow together, and think I’ve avoided the bumblebee situation here. I look forward to using more of my Darn Good Beads from this kit in other projects.

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Hard and Soft

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I love beads that look like candy and can be seen as sort of “kidish”.  I also like all sorts of contrast, so I like using those beads in a way that elevates them to a more sophisticated, less cutsie look.  Hard and soft together.

This pendant by Kim Ouellette of Sparkle Lounge Jewels has this look – white flower in an aged metal setting. I was tempted to just put this on some nice chain. But then I saw these matte almost pastel vintage glass beads, and I liked the look with the pendant. The few unusual green beads keep them from being too pastel, and the matte emphasizes their vintage feel. They were temporarily strung on old white fiber. I didn’t have linen that would make the right size knots, so I used white seed beads. I added an old chain section at the back to bring in the harder element of metal. 

I had to do some new-to-me wire wrapping to make ends for the chain scrap (no loops). It turned out pretty good; no pokey ends! I like the overall effect of the elements in this piece. It’s long enough to fit over my head, but I did add a clasp on one side. This necklace is just waiting for spring to arrive!

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No Thanks for the Drama

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The first time I heard the saying, “Not my circus, not my monkeys” I liked it right away. It perfectly described my desire to stay out of messy situations not of my making that I have little hope of solving. So when artist Andrew Thornton made a beautiful metal pendant with the saying, I snapped one up!

Although the saying is funny and kind of sassy, the piece is beautiful and elegant, so I wanted to use beads with it that were in keeping with that look. I had recently thought about using these long pearl with the holes lengthwise (I don’t see that often) with another metal pendant, but I liked it with this one better.

I used a stardust gold filled bead on either side of the pendant to keep it in place and faceted gold fire polished Czech glass beads as spacers.  I finished it off with a small swirl clasp by Miss Fickle Media. I love it!

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Unicorns and Rainbows

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In a team I am on at work, we have a saying that even if we are trying to improve things, that doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows and unicorns. But wouldn’t it be nice once in a while if it were? Yes! So I created myself this unicorn rainbow necklace.

I got these fabulous resin unicorns from Virtual Bead Show by Ava Motherwell on Facebook. 

The color and the shimmer is so fabulous! I had an idea almost right away. I wanted to put it in a large ring wrapped with tiny gemstones. I wanted to make this resin unicorn look sophisticated, so I thought I might keep to a minimum of color and use all labradorite around the ring, but then I got this lovely multi-color strand from Sam’s Bead Shop, and it just seemed more appropriate. 

My original idea for the beads above the pendant was to use moonstone, but in the end it didn’t look quite right. I decided on these small faceted white beads and “mercury glass” Czech glass beads on purple linen. 

I used a solid line of white at the back to draw to eye away from the pop of color in the pendant to balance the piece.

I always hope things turn out like I envision them in my mind. This one is pretty close!

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Small Mixes

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I really love small mixes of leftover beads; they make such great accents when combined with other beads.  These chartreuse and red die were part of a Czech glass  destash I bought. (I’m still waiting for the perfect project for the dogs that were included!) The die inspired the color combination for this necklace I made for Lori Anderson‘s Bead Soup Blog Party last year. 

So when I saw a Czech glass mix of squares and ovals, I bought it knowing it would make its way into a design. I got this fabulous large, lightweight owl from Kim Mayberry Ouellette.  In looking through my beads, I saw this little mix and the colors are perfect! I added a couple small strands of Czech glass rondelles.  

I think the owl and the larger Czech glass beads really complement each other.  

Yay for leftover bead mixes!

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Contrast and Shine

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I’m lucky enough to have scored some lovely pendants by Julie Schmidt Bowen of Autochthonous Evolved. Recently she paired some of her lampwork beads with drilled rocks (and seriously wonderful wire wrapping) to create pendants. I love the hard and soft together. This photo doesn’t do justice to the luminous quality of her lampwork bead. It really has a light inside of it. The gray, mottled rock is the perfect foil for the delicateness of the glass. 

In deciding what to use to complete the necklace, I wanted to bring out that contrast. I chose some vintage German glass beads with an AB type coating. The lampwork bead has these same colors. I thought about adding some granite beads, but that would be carrying the hard/soft theme too far and hitting the necklace over the head with it. 

I also used matte grey seed beads in between the glass. I like the overall soft color of this necklace. I had quite a number of these vintage glass beads and have enjoyed using them. In two other necklaces, I was using them to represent snow. I do think they look like snow but also like the smell of new flowers or the feel of a soft breeze on an early spring day.

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Easy Elegance

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This was a quick make, but I’m so happy with its easy elegance. 

The clasp and beaded chain sections are from Miss Fickle Media, one of my absolute favorite places to get special chain and clasps – hand patina, vintage chain combined with beads, swirl clasps in different metals.  It is easy to use these things to quickly make special necklaces. For this one I just added a few jump rings and this lovely vintage brass stamping with a great aged patina from Vintage Bead Vault.

I love when materials from different sources come together so perfectly!

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Vintage

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I’ve been really enjoying vintage beads lately.  Also, I’m starting to be able to get back into making jewelry! So for this post, both of those things have come together in a necklace made of vintage and vintage style components. If you don’t know, I got a tendonitis in my thumb and wasn’t able to make jewelry for a couple of months. I am doing much better now, and started a necklace last weekend that I finished this weekend. I’m trying hard not to over-do it. 

The focal is a faux tin piece by Heather Powers of Humblebeads. She has a technique where she puts an image on steel and it doesn’t scratch or come off. The pieces have such a nice feel and really look like vintage tin.

In the actual vintage category, my mother had given me this vintage glass bead necklace. The worn patina of color with the white bead showing underneath is so lovely. I probably would have re-strung that necklace and worn as is with no additions, but it was too short for me. I think the beads work well with this piece, and I paired them with some vintage Preciosa rose shaped beads. My idea was to hang little beads from chain at the bottom. Once I decided on fringe chain, though, more beads seemed like too much. I didn’t want it to get too busy around the pretty focal. 

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. (Do I end every post that way?) Here’s a shot of MooKitty helping me with the photos for this post. Thanks for visiting, and you can look forward to more finished jewelry in my posts again.

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