Saturday, February 23, 2013

Freeform Peyote Challenge

A while ago, Karen Williams and Mandi Ainsworth put their heads together and challenged their readers to create something with freeform peyote.

I've only worked in freeform a few times, here and here, but I enjoyed it each time.  I was eager for the chance to try my hand again.

For this challenge, I dug out a mix of beads I had originally bought for this necklace.  I started stringing and realized I didn't have enough beads for a full necklace.  I continued, though, and improvised a bit.

I took the freeform strand and wove it through this awesome chain.

I made a freeform loop at either end of my beadwork and attached a toggle with a bit of "bling."

I finished the necklace with a length of velvet ribbon and a bit more "bling."

I'm a bit disappointed I wasn't able to do a full necklace, but I'm pleased with this.  It's a bit funky and formal and I can see myself wearing it with a t-shirt or with a little black dress.

If you want to try your hand at freeform peyote, you can find Karen's book, Freeform Peyote Beading, on Amazon.

Karen and Mandi, thank you for a fun challenge.

Please take time to visit the other participants and see what beady goodness they created.


Tanya Goodwin  -  you are here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Focusing on Life - 8 of 52

This week, Sally asked us to shoot a monochromatic photo.

In her email, Sally mentioned that a monochromatic photo can tell a story that a full color photo can't always capture.  As I was taking and editing pictures, I began to see this for myself.

There is a tree along the highway that I notice from time to time.  I've always wanted to build a story around it.  While I wasn't able to get a photo of that tree (it's a bit too far to drive just for a photo), I found a different one.

Along the way, I saw an old shed that could tell a few stories.

Finally, I played with one photo and used three different filters:

black and white


and black and yellow

The last one is my favorite.

Sally, thank you for another wonderful week.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the motivation to get out and take pictures.  I am enjoying the results immensely.

Please take time to visit Sally's blog and see the monochromatic wonders from the other participants.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party - the Soup is On

As you may have heard, the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party is in full swing.

I've noticed a trend among the participants:  most have said that Lori paired them with the perfect partner.  Well, the same goes for me.

I love earthtones and copper.  Catherine sent me a luscious soup using just that:

The first thing that caught my eye was the strand of goldstone flower beads.  I wish the photo captured how they sparkled.

The focal is an amazing jasper pendant.  It's a larger pendnat than I'm used to and I'm excited to create something worthy of it.

The soup is rounded out with copper chain and pearls, more goldstone beads, crystals, faceted beads and beaded beads.

Catherine also included two "blooming beads" designed by Carol Dean Sharpe and beaded by a friend of hers.  I have this pattern, but have never had the patience to bead them.  I am beyond excited to use them.

Catherine was kind enough to include a pair of earrings she made.

They are adorable and I love the colors.  Thank you, Catherine!

Here is what I sent Catherine:

I wanted to send Catherine a focal that could be used in embroidery (if she chose) or in a bead weaving or stringing project.  I chose a round peacock pendant made by Nancy Schindler of Round Rabbit Extra.

I chose the rest of the beads based on the pendant and added a bit of purple into the mix.

I added soutache ribbon into the mix because it goes so well with bead embroidery, something Catherine does beautifully.  (If you have never heard of soutache, here is a great place to start.)

After receiving her soup, Catherine mentioned that she loves peacocks and peacock colors.  Yea!

Check back in April to see what Catherine and I made with our soups.

By the way, these perfect pairings are not an accident.  Lori has mentioned that she visits every blog and takes time to learn about each blogger.  I cannot imagine the time it takes her.  The results of her hard work are apparent, though.  Lori, thank you so much!  You are the "hostess with the mostess."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Focusing on Life - 7 of 52

This week in Sally Russick's Focus on Life challenge, Sally challenged us to "enjoy the beauty of flowers."

My first thought, of course, was, "there are no flowers in February."  I half thought of taking pictures of the dormant rose bushes in our yard.

Then I thought of beaded flowers.  I have several of those laying around.

Luckily, my husband solved my problem for me.  He sent me and the kiddo roses and a teddy bear.  (I'll let you decide which was for whom.)

Because I can't resist, here are a few more pictures.  Not only did I enjoy the blooms, but I enjoyed playing in Lightroom.

Please take a few minutes to visit Sally's blog to see the beauty captured by the other participants.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party

For my entry to the Inspired By Winter Blog Hop, scroll down or click here.

I've wanted to join in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party for some time now.

When Lori first start these parties (back in 2010), participation was limited.  Last summer, Lori opened the party to everyone who wanted to participate and almost 400 people took her up on the offer.  I was about to sign up .. aaaaand .. chickened out.

I started to worry.  What if my partner didn't like the beads I sent?  What if I didn't like the beads from my partner?  What if I didn't send enough?  What if I had no idea what to make?  What if she didn't like what I made?

As you may have read in past posts, my word for the year is "will," as in, I will put my worries aside participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party this year.

As it turns out, I had no reason to worry.  My partner is Catherine from Catherine's Musings.  I know Catherine from our Beading Babes group and was excited to have a friendly face for my first time out.

Like me, Catherine is a seed beader.  Unlike me, Catherine is also an amazing bead embroiderer.

Take a look at Catherine's version of Sherry Serafini's "Ripple Effect Cuff," published in the June 2011 issue of Beadwork Magazine.  The colors are gorgeous and the embroidery is stunning.

Catherine also participates in round robin embroidery exchanges.  Each member starts with a blank form.   The form moves from member to member until finally returning to its owner covered in beady goodness.

Her most recently completed round robin resulted in this stunning teapot.

I cannot fathom embroidering around a form.  The ladies in this exchange are talented!

I  tried to pick a bead soup that would lend itself to embroidery, bead weaving or stringing.  I really hope she likes it.

Here is a sneak peek.

I'll post again when we both receive our soups.  Let the beady fun begin!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Focusing on Life - 6 of 52

For my entry to the Inspired By Winter Blog Hop, scroll down or click here.

This week, Sally challenged us to "feel the love."

Growing up, I learned that love presents itself in many forms.  My dad may not have been the first to say "I love you," but he was always there to play a game with me.

My mom would always, without fail, let me have the last cookie or brownie or slice of pizza.  Giving up chocolate?  That has to be love!

Now married with a kiddo of my own, I am learning about that kind of love:

the "spending hours looking for her blanket so she can sleep" love.

I couldn't resist sharing the "I'll sit here if you want (but I'd rather be chasing my tail)" love.

My absolute favorite, though, is the "get ready for the biggest hug in the world" love.

Sally, thank you again for a wonderful week.  

Please take some time to visit Sally's blog to see where the other participants found love.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Inspired by Winter challenge

Winter seems like a dreary season.  The days are shorter, the winds are colder and the skies are grayer.  Our inclination is to sit by a fire or nestle into a warm bed.

Instead, Sally Russick, of the Studio Sublime, decided to challenge us to find the beauty in winter and get our creativity flowing.

The challenge could not have come at a better time.  I had recently purchased this bracelet blank from Sharyl of Sharyl's Jewelry.

It reminded me of icicles glittering in the sun on winter's day.  You know those days .. inches of snow on the ground, a bit cold, but so sunny that you don't care.

(Please take some time to visit Sharyl's artfire shop.  In addition to wonderful components, Sharyl also sells gorgeous finished jewelry.)

I wanted to do something special with Sharyl's bracelet blank.  I tried a few things that didn't quite work out. Then it hit me.  I made a simple peyote band and added crystal ice drops to the edges.

Then, I started to have fun.  I made curled peyote strips on the edges of the band, sweeping onto the metal part.

I'll pretend that the beaded curls are snow and ice drifting along.

The metal blank is nestled in all the twists and turns of the peyote strips.

Of course, after I attached the oval toggle, I realized that a ruffled band coming from the edge of the bracelet would have made a great closure.  Oh, well.  There is always next time.

Sally, thank you for a wonderful challenge.

Please take a few minutes to see what the other participants made.  You won't be disappointed.

Sally  Russick (our host)

Tanya Goodwin  -  you are here

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Inspire Change: Wellness Words Jewelry Challenge

At the beginning of a new year, some bloggers adopt a word to inspire them for the year.  (You can see my word here and here.)

This year, Tracy Statler from Make Bracelets! posed a jewelry challenge:  choose an inspiration word or phrase and make a piece of jewelry using that word/phrase.

My word for the year is "will."  I chose it to remind myself that I have the power to make my goals happen.

One of my goals this year is to move away from patterns and work with my own ideas.  This challenge was a great place to start.

I wanted to make something I could see -- a constant reminder of my goals. To that end, I decided on a ring.  I was inspired by the idea of spinner rings, rings which have an inside base and an outside layer which spins.

I started beading a quick peyote ring in my favorite color of seed beads.

Then I stamped my word on a length of copper sheet.  I textured and aged the copper and formed it around the peyote ring.

I decided against letting the copper spin because I had this great idea for the back of the ring.

I am so happy with how this came out.  The copper adds a definite weight to the ring that a typical beaded ring does not have.

Tracy, thank you so much for starting this challenge.  It was a blast.

Please check out all the other participants to see their inspirational jewelry. - you are here 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Focusing on Life - 5 of 52

This week, Sally inspired us to look for hearts.

I love hearts and seem to collect them.  I  thought I would take this opportunity to show you some of the heart pendants I have in my stash and highlight the talented ladies who made them.

These two are from Staci Louise.  I love that Staci works in so many different media.  Staci has more wonderful components in her etsy store.

This one is by Nancy Schindler from Round Rabbit.  I am never disappointed by anything from Nancy.  All of her components are wearable works of art.  Keep an eye on Nancy's blog for updates to her big cartel shop.

I love this set from Jade Scott.  Again, the artistry is amazing in Jade's work.

I received this beauty from Marti Conrad.  Marti's work is full of color and texture.  Her beads are a treat to use.  You can find more beads and buttons in Marti's etsy store.

Lesley Watt made some wonderful bronze clay hearts.  I have to do a double take when I see Lesley's work.  This started as clay?  You can buy one of your own from her etsy store.

You may have noticed that while I love hearts, I am not drawn to the traditional red.  There is one exception, though.  I just love this set of hearts, also from Round Rabbit Extra.

I took time this week to use one of those hearts in a bracelet.  The design is similar to the bracelet I made for this challenge.  Both were inspired by Mary Jane Dodd's "Awakening Lotus" bracelet, found in Bohemian Inspired Jewelry.

I love the bits of gray with the red and white.

I added a peyote spiral to one side of Nancy's heart.

The other side features spacer beads from Donna Millard.  (Speaking of talented, Donna makes gorgeous beads.  Take a look at her etsy shop.)

Sally, thank you for another wonderful week.  Please take some time to visit Sally's blog and see where the other participants found their hearts.