Sunday, May 29, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
After completing the Dragonscale bracelet, I had extra 20g Sterling Silver and Enameled Copper in Red rings left. As luck would have it, I discovered that the simple, but elegant Helm Weave could be made with 20g rings of the exact same inner diameters! What luck!!! So, I set to work on the weave, but I decided to vary the monotony of the pattern by adding Sterling Silver beads to the single, large rings. It gives the necklace a beautiful drape and adds a touch of beauty to an already lovely chain maille design. I'm not the first person to think of adding beads to chain maille, but I think I can make many variations on this theme in the future.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
I made this bracelet while staying in Madeira Beach during our kitchen/family room demolition phase (see my new blog "Age of Destruction at http://ageofdestruction1.blogspot.com/.) I went to the local bead store, Celestial Beads, and bought my supplies and sat down with Anne to make an Autumn-themed bracelet using a pattern by Deborah Farrand. I used Swarovski Pearls in Burgundy, Swarovski crystal bicones in Crystal Copper and a Miyuki seed bead mix in Golden Grains (topaz, brown, beige and cream). The clasp is a sun/moon toggle in antique gold.
I really enjoy beading no matter where I am. I have a plastic portfolio case that I cram with all my latest projects and a travel cosmetic bag crammed with more project components and beading tools. Needless to say, I don't always have what I need to finish a project...jump rings, thread protectors, the 'perfect clasp' or ear wires, but I've got plenty to keep me busy beginning a new project or continuing an existing one. While the house remodel rains chaos and insulation down on my head, I know I'll have a peaceful time in my bead room.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I am shocked that I haven't posted anything about Bead Crochet. Truth be told, bead crochet is the first beading technique, after basic stringing, that I learned. In fact, it's the first self-taught, bead weaving technique that I mastered. I had a few failed attemps, when I was 9 or 10, at crocheting a scarf that ended up being long enough for a baby doll, so it wasn't like I was a crochet guru to start with. Undaunted by my lack of a solid crochet resume, I remember sitting down with my instruction booklet by Mary Libby Neiman, my crochet hook, some thread and some beads and thinking..."Wow! This is going to be awesome!!" Approximately two weeks into my 'tutorial,' I wanted to pitch the entire knotted mess into the garbage can, set it on fire and do a dance around the bonfire. Oh, but I'm a sucker for the 'impossible challenge' and so I continued to crochet beads into mangled, unrecognizable forms. I eventually referred to my creations as 'cat yak', channelling all the Feng Shui that Bill the Cat had to offer. Then one day (six to eight weeks into my self-imposed, self-respect mutilation), in one of those *insert Angelic Chorus here* moments...I created a perfectly formed bead crochet tube. The rest is history. I could not turn back after the beads fell into perfect harmony. Now, in a total ironic twist, this is my go-to relaxation technique! Here are my latest creations...various colors of three sizes of seed beads generate this spiralling bracelet design using bead crochet techniques. It looks like a complex geometry problem, but it's jewelry!
Monday, April 11, 2011
I have been eager to finish this beaded tubular netting necklace for quite some time. The tubular netting technique actually works up quite quickly, but I must not be the fastest beader in the West ;D I had chosen the colors, turquoise-colored jasper and orange carnelian, because I was in a Southwest frame of mind for some reason. As it turned out, I wasn't the only one. One of the patrons of my local bead shop came in with her version of a Southwest jewelry design the day I was finishing mine! I happen to love the colors of turquoise and orange nestled in a bed of silver. I also made a pair of beaded bead earrings to coordinate, which for me is a big accomplishment...I always forget to make the earrings :P I have started a bracelet in a combination of Czech glass druks in garnet with the turquoise-colored jasper with silver accents and made a coordinating beaded bead dangle.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Here is a short bio from Mandy: I am originally from North Carolina. I moved to Florida last June and love it !!! I enjoy all types of art ;) I would like to go to an Art school and get out of the field I'm in ;) We shall see...in the meantime I'm just going to enjoy doing this as a hobby...
Congratulations Mandy!! Your Wire Wrapped jewelry set is beautiful! Stay tuned to see what this month's Challenge entrants come up with. The themes are 'Diamond/Crystal' or 'Singin' in the Rain.' It is a fun and creative way to showcase the multidisciplinary talents of our group :D
Monday, March 28, 2011
I've gotten the two halves sewn together! Now for the embellishing phase...
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I have finally taken the plunge and have begun to learn the art of sculpting wire into shaped forms. My first attempt, while primitive, was a blast to make from beginning to end! I used a base of 12 ga aluminum wire and wrapped with various lengths of 22 ga craft wire in silver and red and finished with wire wrapped red coral beads. I really didn't have a master plan when I began my project (not something I'd recommend for a newb). I did have a vague idea of a general shape for the base, so I made a highly detailed sketch of that to help me get started (ok...note to self: in the future, maybe a little more detail).
Then I started bending and wrapping the wire and added the beaded detail when I ran out of space. I think it kind of looks like a unicellular organism or a multi-toed space alien with red nail polish. I'll let you decide :D
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I have recently purchased four (4!) books on chain maille. Two are by Scott David Plumlee: Chain and Bead Jewelry, Geometric Connections and Chain and Bead Jewelry, Creative Connections. The other two are Chained by Rebeca Mojica of Blue Buddha Boutique and Link It! by Susan C. Thomas. All three chain maille artists are innovative and exciting designers. Something I admire and aspire to be myself, when/if? I grow up ;P