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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What else have I been up to?

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been doing quite a bit of chain maille.  I'm going to split the projects up into a few posts, just so this one doesn't become a monster post.

There is no way I will remember these in chronological order, so we'll just get to these in no particular order.

The first thing I'll show you is this viperscale bracelet.  It's a Viperscale 2.0 from Blue Buddha.  Unfortunately, I cannot link anything for you because Blue Buddha closed recently.  You should be able to find viperscale instructions, though, if you google.

What makes this bracelet different from your typical viperscale is the smaller ring in the middle next to the bigger ring.  The rings need to have a slightly larger aspect ratio to accommodate the smaller ring.

I loved viperscale so much, I decided to do a few in niobium.  C and T designs has wonderful niobium rings.  I miscalculated the ring size and could not do the 2.0 version, but I think these are lovely anyway.

In addition to viperscale, I finally (and I mean finally -- it took me about 6 months off and on) learned moorish rose.  This weave interlocks six ring mobius units.  I looked at tutorial after tutorial until something clicked.

I've never had an arch enemy, but I think this bracelet came close.  I love how it turned out, though.  It's all copper and it has a nice weight to it.

I made the s hooks on the ends.  They're not perfect, but I don't mind.

That's it for now, but I have more on the way.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What have I been up to?

It seems I've taken a bit of a break from my blog.  I guess it's one of those things.  Life gets in the way, pictures seem like a bit of a chore instead of something fun.

It's been about a year and a year and a half since I was posting regularly.  Let's see if I can get myself back into the game, so to speak.

I've still been beading .. a bit.  I love Kate McKinnon's Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  The techniques are amazing and the pieces I've seen are wonderful.

I started a fortune teller bangle early last year, but got only so far.

I hadn't sized the bangle properly and a bit of it split off.  I ended up taking a several rows out and also removing a bit from the inside.  I haven't gotten back to this, however, because my attention wandered to a few other projects.

You see, my wonderful husband somehow procured tickets to the San Diego Comic Convention last summer.  Of course, I needed something awesome to wear.

I finished these next two bracelets about a week before we left for San Diego.

This Harley Quinn bracelet is an example of what can happen if the wings are left unchecked.

Granted, this bracelet is not an "every day" sort of thing, but I love how it turned out.  I am somewhat proud of the snap cover I came up with.

The little warped squares have snaps on the bottom and attach to both sides of the cuff.  I love how it blends in to the rest of the cuff.

I've worn this a few times and I'm surprised at how many people don't realize it's beaded.

The next cuff I made is a rick rack bracelet and not quite as wild as the Harley cuff.  I styled it with Wonder Woman in mind

It also uses snaps for a closure.  You can see the little snaps on the left of the picture below.  The other half of the snap is on the underside of the bracelet.

I really love the techniques in Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  I'd like to do a bit more with it, but, I seem to have trouble coming up with an idea.  My daughter suggested a Madeline Hatter cuff (Ever After High is a favorite of hers), so I may look into that.

Aside from last year's ornament swap, I'm pretty sure this is all the beading I've done.  Instead, I've been working on chain maille.  I have quite a few pictures to show you in my next post.