Friday, October 25, 2013

A Rolling Blog Hop

A few months ago, Christine Altmiller, of One Kiss Creations, found a few times at an antique store and decided to host a blog hop.

She asked several of us if we would be interested in using the items she found, but didn't tell us what the items were.  Always up for a challenge, my answer was an enthusiastic "yes!"

When I received the package, I was a little mystified and a bit excited.  Christine sent us vintage wooden spools along with other beads she thought we might like.

(Of course, I had painted one of the spools before I remembered to take a picture.)

Here are the other beads Christine sent.

In a note, Christine mentioned that she liked "the idea of spools and thread and how we all have that common thread running between us in the blog world."  I thought that was such a sweet sentiment!

As I was looking for ideas, I came across this craft, which uses thread and spools to make cute little monsters.  I immediately started playing around with the idea and came up with these.

I started with Frankenstein's monster and used Gwen Fisher's DNA double helix tutorial to create the beaded portion of a necklace.

I thought the DNA helix was perfect for the monster.  Luckily for me, Gwen's video tutorial was made using Doceri software and it is so easy to follow.

I also wanted to incorporate a bit of chain maille, so I made a variation of Rebeca Mojia's Lancelot bracelet.

 This is a fun way to embellish helm weave.  The instructions can be found in Rebeca's book, Chained.

I used brass rings when I made this and could not get the brass to patina with liver of sulfur.  I then opted for an ammonia patina.

(By the way, ammonia, salt, and annodized aluminum do not mix well.  I had to replace most of the purple and pink rings and chalked this up to a learning experience.)

It was worth it, though.

I made the pendant removable, for those non Halloweeny occasions.

Next, I added some orange to the seed beads Christine sent to make a cellini spiral.

I matched the spiral with a helm weave chain.

This finished product is another great Halloween necklace.

I really love this one.

I have a few ideas for the last spool, but it's getting close to Halloween and I wanted to show these to you while they were still seasonal.

I'll probably have another spool post for you in a month or so.  :)

Christine, thank you for the opportunity to participate.  I had a blast with these.

This is a rolling blog hop, so the posts will be sporadic.  Christine was generous and gave us two months to complete our pieces and post.

Janet, from Honey from the Bee, posted her creation a few weeks ago.  If you are interested, you can see her beautiful necklace here.

Hope, from Crafty Hope posted her creations here.

Keep an eye on Christine's blog over the next few months to see what the other participants made.


  1. Wow - is there anything that you CANNOT do??!! These are absolutely gorgeous! I would never have imagined decorating those spools that way - I love it! If I ever do learn to work with those tiny little seeds again, my project of choice is that cellini spiral! And your inclusion of the chain maille is beautiful - I have a ton of those colorful rings in my stash! Beautiful job!

  2. Tanya these are absolutely fantastic! so much fun, and wonderful bead weaving! I love the use of chainmaille in this - what a great idea!

  3. OMG! I absolutely love what you've done!! The spools are great but I love the beaded and chain combination necklaces!! Very, very cool!

  4. I Love Them!!!!! The spools themselves are so cute! What a great way you just converted that string craft to peyote and had fun with it. Those necklaces~I am not sure there is enough to say about the way you make chain maille and beadweaving blend together. What a perfect union. The designs you picked and executed compliment the weaving stitches so well. I just love your style Tanya! Thanks so so much for agreeing to be a part of this. I really appreciate all your work and your time. Enjoy your Halloween necklaces!!!

  5. And I thought the best thing about Halloween was the candy! These are just a fantastic way to incorporate Christine's spools! Love the dark, elegant look of the first one-- equal parts chic and delightfully spooky. And the best part is that these beauties won't have to be stashed away on November 1st!

  6. Awesome designs Tanya! I love the Frankenstein spool and the Jack-O-Lantern, mixing bead weaving and chain maille together to make the necklace is a great idea. I am looking forward to seeing your third spool I love the design you have on it.

  7. Well done, perfect for halloween. Love the chain maille, it just adds that extra dimension.

  8. I love love love! I was thinking about using seed beads in the channel, but I didn't know where to start. Not only is it awesome that you transformed it, but I love that they're Halloween related. Now.. how you made the two different types of necklace work together - genius!

  9. Wow! These are wonderful! Your beadwork is impressive! I love how you mixed chainmaille and beadweaving together for the necklace designs- they are so original and beautiful! Very well done!

  10. I just LOVE smart art. I'm smiling wide over that dna helix complimenting the frankenstein spool. Those peyote strips are a great way to use those spools! Isn't it amazing to see a non-beady craft project and translate it into a beady creation!!!

  11. I love, love what you made. I seriously lack seed bead skills, so your designs absolutely amaze me. What a stroke of genius to do a Halloween theme! And you added a chainmaile element. . .another skill I lack! I'm totally looking forward to seeing what you do with that last spool :)

  12. I always love coming here to see what you have them!! I just won a chain maille book at the retreat so will have to choose a project!

  13. Tanya, I just love these. How delightful and I just love the use of Rebecca's Lancelot. You are just so creative.

  14. I'm with Therese, I love how you mixed techniques together! Such cool designs!

  15. The spools are absolutely adorable! I love your chainmaille work and how you have combined it with the beadweaving. So unique. I am stopping by via Christine's blog. :)