Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bead Soup Blog Party - Bead Hoarders Edition

Once again, the wonderful Lori Anderson created a bead swap and blog/pinterest party.

This time around, Lori asked that we send hoarded beads to our partners -- the ones we kept around year after year, promising to use them, but never found the right project.

She also made it easier for those who don't have blogs to participate

I was partnered with Joelyn Bissing.  Her pinterest entry is here.

Lori asked that we package up our beads and have them ready to send when we were matched up.  After narrowing down what I wanted to send, I wrapped and boxed up the goodies ... and forgot to snap a photo.  So, you'll have to hop on over to Joelyn's post to see what I sent.

Joelyn sent me a gorgeous bead.

She said it reminded her of Napa Valley and I can totally see why.  When I saw it, my first thought was grapes and vines.

The back of it is just as beautiful.

I struggled for a while as to how to compliment the bead.  I wasn't sure how I wanted to hang it or what kind of bail to use.  

I briefly thought about bezeling it with seed beads, but dismissed the idea because I didn't want to cover any of the bead.

I finally settled on a celini spiral.

At first, I was going to use the celini spiral in the back of the necklace and create something with chain maille in the front.  That didn't work, or, at least, I couldn't find something that looked right to me.

After a while, I decided to make a long beaded rope.  I didn't have enough of one of the size 8 seed beads, so I switched to size 11s in the front and back of the rope. 

You can't tell from the photo, but I hid a small magnetic clasp in the beadwork.  It's in the back of the necklace where the beads come to a "V."

Since I couldn't just suspend the bead, I decided to add an element of chain maille.  I had this twisted lantern bead laying around, so I used it to help suspend the focal bead.

As I changed my mind and direction in the course of this project more times than I care to admit, I didn't have time to patina the copper.  I need to make the lantern embellishment darker so it blends better with the rest of the necklace.

All in all, though, I'm happy with how it turned out and I hope my beaded rope does justice to the gorgeous focal bead.

Lori, thank you again for hosting!  Bead swaps are so much fun!

Joelyn,  thank you again for such a gorgeous bead to play with!

If you are interested in hopping, you can find the list of participants here.  Many of them are using pinterest.  Just an fyi .. you need to be logged in to pinterest to be able to comment.  I about tore my hair out trying to figure out why I couldn't see the "comment" button under a photo.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ziggy cuff

My latest contemporary geometric beadwork project is this bracelet, designed by Heather Collin.  I love that Heather uses two different sizes of rick rack in this bracelet.

When I work from a tutorial, I almost never use the same color pattern.  I couldn't imagine this bracelet in any other color scheme, though.  Luckily, Heather was kind enough to list her colors in her tutorial.

And the best part about the bracelet?  It's reversible!

Because it is double sided, the bracelet takes a bit longer to bead.  The end result is totally worth it, though.

As always, Heather's tutorial is easy to follow.  You can find it here and you can see more of Heather's patterns in her shop, here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just a few more beaded beads

I wanted to show you the last of the beaded beads I made using Cindy Holsclaw's patterns.

First up is the Tila Garden Pendant.  I really like the way this bead uses tila beads to make little walls around the embellishments.

In my last post, I mentioned that many of Cindy's beads have the same base structure.  The tila garden pendant also starts with a dodecahedron.  The tila beads make it a bit trickier, but luckily for me, I was a pro at dodecahedrons by this time.  :)

It really is a gorgeous bead.

The final beaded beads I have are from Cindy's Raindrop Flower Necklace.

This necklace features four different types of beaded beads, including a stunning pendant that encloses a swarovski pearl.

I only used three types of beads in my necklace because I wanted to make an extra of the medium beads.  I think it will make a great pendant.

I love the finished necklace.  

If you are interested in any of Cindy's patterns, they can be found here.  They are all very clear and have illustrations and photos, which help tremendously.  I'm not sure you could go wrong with any of them.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

More beaded beads and charms

In my last post, I mentioned that I have been working on more patterns from Cindy Holsclaw.  I am almost up to my ears in beads and charms.

I think my favorite bead is the supernova pendant.

As I was  beading trough these beaded beads, I realized that the base structure is the same in many of Cindy's beads.  The embellishments are what makes each one different.

Once you've beaded a few dozen dodecahedrons, it becomes easier and you can whip through the base structure and get to the good part.

One of the things that makes the supernova pendant different is that the embellishments sit on the corners rather than on the sides of the structure.  This means that there are twenty embellishments instead of fifteen.

Also, the pendant is embellished with crescent beads, making the bead look like it's exploding out.

I really want to make a few more of these.

I also finished the charms for my sakura bouquet necklace.


I had been eyeing this pattern and kit for almost three years now and was so excited to have a chance to work on it.

There are four different types of charm.  Each is beaded with a similar technique and they work up very quickly.  

Cindy's tutorial provides several inspiration photos.  This arrangement is similar to one in the tutorial, using all forty charms in the kit. 

Did I mention that the kit makes *forty* charms?  I can't wait to finish the necklace.  :)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Classes with Cindy Holsclaw

A month or so ago, Cindy Holsclaw posted on Facebook that, thanks to the Kansas City Bead Society, she would be teaching several classes in Kansas City.  It took all of 5 minutes for me to clear the couple of days with my husband and email the class coordinator for the bead society.

I had been putting off joining the bead society and had a momentary panic that only members would be allowed to attend the classes.  It turns out I had nothing to worry about.  The coordinator was sweet and welcoming.

After a short wait, the weekend arrived.  Cindy taught four classes:  Rizo Triangle Necklace, Botanical Cells Bracelet, Brain Chemistry Earrings, and Highlands Gardens Necklace.

Friday's class was the Rizo Triangle necklace.  It was also my first introduction to the Bead Society ladies.  All of the ladies were nice and welcoming and we were all excited to meet Cindy.

Cindy took a few minutes to tell us about herself and her background as a biochemist.  Cindy is a warm and kind person and a good teacher.

Beaded beads and components are not always easy to visualize.  Cindy's explanations in class made it easier.

The Rizo Triangle necklace is composed of several separate components and a rope made with seed beads and rizo beads.

The components were fun to make and worked up quickly.  They are also very versatile.  You can combine big and small components to make all sorts of different things.

The rope looks complicated, but it really isn't.  It also works up quickly.

Sadly, my daughter had a previously scheduled class on Saturday, so I wasn't able to attend the classes that day.  They looked amazing, though.

Sunday's class was the Highland Gardens necklace, a class I had been wanting to tale for a while.

Again, this class was focused on beaded beads.  Cindy brought a ton of examples for us to see, many in different stages of completion.

We started on the smaller bead.

After lunch, we started on the larger bead.  This is somewhat more difficult.  The result, though, is amazing.

Cindy had four colorways for this necklace and all of them were stunning.  All of us had at least two or three favorites.

I haven't strung my necklace yet.  I want to make a small chain mail chain for the large bead.  The smaller beads will also be pendants.  My daughter already claimed one.

Cindy also brought samples and kits from her online shop.   As amazing as her photos look, the pieces look even more amazing in person.  I bought a few patterns that had been on my wish list, including the Sakura Bouquet necklace.

I've been working on these patterns and am happily surrounded by beaded beads and charms.  I'll be writing about those next week.

Along with the samples of current patterns, Cindy also brought samples of her upcoming workshops and recent work.  All of these were amazing.  I was particularly taken with the Twirling Waltz necklace as well as a few others that used a coiled CRAW technique.

If you are able to take a class with Cindy, I highly recommend it.  Her instructions are very well written and Cindy is a great teacher.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

And even more chain maille

I'm going to have to think of a better post title for here on out.  "Even more more chain maille" doesn't have a good ring to it.

The items I have to show you today are all tutorials from Brilliant Twisted Skulls on etsy.

First, I have the Raven's Braid.  The rings I had for the middle were the correct size according to the tutorial, but were slightly too thick.  I had to go one gauge smaller to make it work.  

I love how it turned out!  It just goes to show that, for some weaves, different vendors and different metal types make a difference.  

This is the only piece that I patinaed.  The others are waiting for me to get a few more pieces together.

Next up is the wyvern back weave.

I had done something similar, but I love the doubled persian rings on the edges.  This one used smaller rings and is light and delicate.  I might have to sit down and see if I could do it in a heavier gauge and bigger rings.

Finally, I have a few atomic beads.  These little guys are adorable, but a pain in the you-know-what.  I must have put the bead down a number of times before "getting it".

The beads start out with a mobius, then, somewhere, there is chain maille magic that I can't even begin to explain.  I have no idea how Kirk came up with it, much less explained it.

You can tell these little guys have been sitting around for a while.  The copper has dulled.  I really need to get them cleaned up, dunked in liver of sulphur and tumbled.

Brilliant Twisted Skulls has quite a few tutorials in the store.  If you like these, check it out.

Friday, June 17, 2016

More Chain Maille

I was proud of myself for making the following kitsune bracelets by Amy Leggett.

It's one of the only weaves that I didn't have a tutorial for.  I had to do a bit of "trial and error."

I really like the weave.  It's fluid and feels nice to wear.

I ended up doing a test model in brass, brown and teal annodized aluminum.

Next, was a bronze and stainless steel version.

 Finally, an aluminum with purple and violet annodized aluminum.

Ever since I've made them, I'be been trying to think of a way to make a sheet.  I'm not sure it would work, but it might be really cute if you joined two kitsune bracelets with a european 4 in 1 middle.