Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tilas Times Two (Say That A Few Times Fast!)

More results from my experiments with tila beads, again in bracelets.

This first one came from playing with creating the diamond shape.  I only had enough of the tiny crystals to make the section you see, which was too short to make a bracelet for anyone over the age of ten.  In another testament to the value of hoarding collecting beads, I found some larger firepolished beads that matched, to make it just long enough.  They really are the same color, but they have a slight AB finish, so it throws off the appearance in the photo.

The clasp is the first time I've fabricated a toggle, but it turned out better than it had any right to.

The second bracelet was a continuation of the courtship of the tila and the twin hole beads. 

I just noticed the honking long piece of fireline that's hanging out on one edge when I was uploading the pictures.  Dammit.  Time to get a stronger pair of reading glasses if I couldn't see that thing waving around without blowing it up to super size on the computer screen!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blinded By The Sparkle

Ever walk by a store window and see something that makes you think, "I'm not sure where I'll wear that, but I have to have it"?

Juls was having a moving sale recently, and as I browsed the offerings, this lot caught my eye.

Now, I'm not a huge sparkly, sparkly girl.  While I love a good Swarovski, it's not a look I can rock every day, or in great quantity.  So I love these, but they also terrify me.

You wouldn't believe the rainbows that are thrown off of these beads when they're grouped together like this.  In fact, I was a little worried that the sparkle coming off of them was going to blind pilots passing overhead while I took the photo.  I'm gonna have to wear sunglasses when I work with these!

And for something completely different, here's an extra surprise that Juls (that sweetheart) included as an (unnecessary) apology for a little shipping snafu.  Yay!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

...And A Sparkly Clean Smile

Not that I recommend this as a diet aid, but going to the dentist over your lunch break does cut down on the daily caloric intake.  

So if you can't have a good meal, and you're facing some time with other people's fingers in your mouth (ugh, that sounds even worse than the reality....sorry!), what might brighten the day?

Why, some bead embroidered earrings!  I wore these to my dentist appointment yesterday.  The hygienist didn't comment on them, but since she complimented my flossing, I will forgive her.

And even though in this picture they appear to be the
size of a Volkswagon, they are small and delicate.
Crazy lace agate (insert comment about how appropriate it is for me to be associated with anything "crazy") and garnet.  Simple, but fun.  Certainly a whole lot more fun than a trip to the dentist.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wherein I Abandon The Land of the Luddites

Well, hello, 21st century....

nice to have joined you!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tilas and Twins and Thursdays - Oh, My!

What do you get when you give a beader some new (to her) styles of beads and sequester her in the woods for a week?

Yeah, yeah, it sounds like the setup for a bad joke.

Somewhat like last summer's muffin tin challenge, before a week's vacation in the mountains, I packed a limited selection of beads, pushing myself to find different ways to use the same basic materials.  On Thursday of the week, I played with tilas and twin beads, and came up with several different things that made me happy, but the final product that I'm most pleased with is this bracelet:

The clasp was a particular challenge -- I could have made the toggle out of bronze seed beads, but hadn't packed enough (insert favorite mild oath here), so I did a "what if" with the twin beads, which seems to have worked out okay.

So what did you last create out of materials that were new to you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kreative Blogger Award!

If you've read this blog before, you know that sometimes, when I get excited about something, I tend to, um, act out.  I have been known to dance on my front porch or threaten to kiss the postman when a package of beads arrives.  It alarms the neighbors, and the poor postman, bless his heart, probably now hides in the bushes to be sure I'm not home before delivering any padded envelope that might contain beads.

So imagine, if you will, my reaction when Christine Altmiller named my blog on her Kreative Bloggers list!

Let's just say it's a good thing I got the news after dark. No neighborhood children or pets were traumatized by having to witness my happy dance.  But I was THRILLED!

There are three rules to the award:
  • Post a link to the person who awarded you (thanks Christine!!)
  • Share 7 well-thought out random things about yourself
  • Award to 10 other deserving bloggers and let them know
Seven random things about myself

1. I was in a rock band in high school. They hired me in because they needed a girl singer and I could harmonize like a whiz.  And I played a mean cowbell. I choose to think the fact that Mom had a station wagon we could use to haul gear to gigs in was just a plus.

2. I can't eat citrus, fish, or shellfish because of allergies.  While it doesn't bother me (you don't regret avoiding things that can land you in the hospital) it does make me a pain in the butt at the beach, where everything they serve in restaurants is seafood and/or citrus.

3. I had two master's degrees by the time I was 21.  This signifies nothing more than the fact that I seemed to have been in an awful rush when I was young.

4. Do not take me up to high places and make me look down.  It will not go well.  Trust me.

5. I went to an all-women's college.  Consequently, I can curse like a sailor, tell a filthy joke, or act like a perfect lady, depending on what the situation calls for.  This is probably not something my alma mater would want to cite in their recruitment materials.

6. I have ridden in an elevator with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leonard Bernstein, and Willard Scott.  Not all at the same time.

7. I am a shoe fiend.  To the extent that, when I was teaching in a university, my students made up baseball shirts for an imaginary team and put the name "HEELZ" on the back of mine.  I still wear it with pride.

10 Blogs You Should Know

Although I have an extensive list of blogs that I enjoy every day, some of my favorites have been featured earlier this week with their own Kreative Blog award.  So here, in no particular order, are 10 that you may not have encountered elsewhere, but which are richly deserving of a visit:

1. Treasures Found - Erin not only makes gorgeous jewelry, but she has one of the most wonderful outlooks on life you will ever find.  She signs her posts "Enjoy the Day". Read her blog, and you will.

2. JulsBeads - mad lampworking and beading skills, and one of the funniest people you're likely to find in a beading blog.  Her post titles alone are worth adding her to your list.

3. Saturday Sequins - Sarah has a great sense of humor, a love of sparkly things, an enthusiasm for creative challenges, and her freeform beadweaving skills have been spectacular to watch develop.

4. La Bella Joya - Marcie creates magical little wonders with beadweaving and bead embroidery, and her imagination is boundless.  I love her style.

5. The Beading Yogini - Sometimes when I see CeCe's latest creations, they just take my breath away with their beauty and intricacy.  Beading, wirewrapping, micromacrame.  Go, enjoy. 

6. The Peregrine Beader -  Callie is wonderful at sharing the process behind the pieces she creates.  And the pieces she creates are elegant in their detail and color combinations.  Mind boggling.

7. Beads-Perles - Do I speak Spanish?  No.  Do I drool over the beautiful work by various artists featured here?  Inevitably.  And the artists featured share websites of beaders who inspire them, so you can find even more inspiration.  It's like a big, beady, matrix of fabulousness.

8. Mes Bijoux en Perles - Do I speak French?  Yes, badly.  But I don't need to, to be blown away by the soutache jewelry of Annetta Valious.  If you're intrigued by soutache, this is one to bookmark.

9. Que Onda Q'town? - Lois makes beautiful beadwoven jewelry.  She shares my dislike of snakes.  She shares stories of her teaching life.  And she throws in random Southern expressions (read her post about "falling out").

10. Songbeads - Rebecca has a magician's touch with color and texture.  And she makes the kind of beautiful bracelets that are so far out of my skill set, I just sit back and marvel.

While I'm pleased that you've stuck around long enough to read this far, do yourself a favor and go check out these other bloggers.  You'll be glad you did!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Beautiful Bowl of Soup

My bead soup arrived!  My bead soup arrived!  My bead soup arrived!  And to make it official, Alice of  Alice Dreaming is a rock star of a swap partner!

Alice truly, seriously, completely awed me with the soup ingredients she sent.  I had been out of town for ten days, and I knew that her package would be waiting at the post office among the mail that had been held while I was gone.  Y'all, I was a model of self-control as I waited for the post office to be unlocked this morning.  Yes, I was there before they were open, and I was first in line.  And yes, I ripped open the package as soon as I was back in my car.  Patience only goes so far, folks.

It's as though Alice picked up the drawer where she stores her collection of lampwork and art beads, and emptied it into a box that she then sent off to me.  She assured me that she bought multiples of some of these (often my buying technique, too -- I knew I liked her!), so she still has some duplicates of these beauties in her collection.

Good grief, Blogger, WHY do you flip my photos like this sometimes?!?
There are beads by Diane Hawkey, Twinstar, Libby Leu, MissFickleMedia,  Off Center Productions, and Two Sisters Designs, along with a Melinda Orr clasp.  These are artists whose work I've admired for long time, but that I haven't had a chance to work with yet.  I can't wait to get going with them!

Here's what I sent Alice -- in my typically indecisive manner, I couldn't choose between the two focals.  So I  put together a soup that (I hope) will work with both.

See why I couldn't choose between these?
Our reveal is August 25.  Hope to see you back here then!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Check Out This Giveaway!

As though hosting a bead swap for 400+ international beaders wasn't enough, the always amazing Lori Anderson is hosting a giveaway.

Go check it out here!

Seriously, go -- you'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Do Not Do As I Do

While on vacation this week, it seemed like a good time to catch up on some earring photography.

So you've heard that the best way to shoot jewelry outdoors is on an overcast day?  Well, y'all, the sky went from a lovely overcast to a threatening rumble.  Quickly.

You can't imagine the speed at which I was pulling out earrings, shooting them, and going to the next pair.  I had found a good spot to set up, and by golly, I wasn't going to let a little thunder dissuade me.

Okay, until the lightning started striking.  I had no idea I could still move that fast....

The pictures turned out well, but I wouldn't recommend setting yourself up as a lightning rod to pursue your photographic ideas!