Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bead Peeps Swap & Hop - My Partner and What She Sent

I'm so excited to be participating in a new-to-me swap and design challenge, this time hosted through the Bead Peeps Facebook group.  And I'm thrilled to introduce my swap partner, Lori Alainn Blanchard of Alainn Jewelry. (What, you don't follow her blog yet? Get yourself over there, enjoy the eye candy, and put her on your blog feed immediately! You're welcome.)

Lori's an enthusiastic and warm person, who's planning her wedding while she works and designs her fantastic jewelry. She rides motorcycles, which proves she's the kind of brave bad ass lady I can't possibly claim to be (I would be decorating the pavement immediately). She's got a fun sense of humor, and her spirit comes through in her designs.

Lori and I are really well-matched. We both love to explore and mix a variety of techniques, and love color. We both work with seed beads and larger beads. Neither of us has met a bead we didn't like (or at least think we could so something with). She shops with the same philosophy as I do - if it's pretty or interesting, buy it with the certainty that you'll find a fabulous use for it eventually.

Want to see some of Lori's beauties?

This first one knocked my socks off.  It just got photographed for inclusion in Bead & Button (yay, Lori!), and I think you can see why.  It also proved to me that we were well-matched, because it reminded me of a necklace I made that I affectionately referred to as "the monster."

This next one has lush, abundant fringe. I can't do fringe. Don't know why, but I've never felt like a fringe-y kind of girl, but this might change my thinking.

And this bracelet? The colors are so pretty and the embroidery is great.

In yesterday's mail, I got the beads that Lori sent me for this swap challenge, and y'all, it's full of yummy things.  Take a look!  Czech glass and delicas and seed beads and daggers and tilas and half tilas and a highly cool focal, oh my!

Yes, take a closer look at the very cool focal.  It's a lapis cab with sculpted clay by Sculpted Windows.

The big challenge here? The neon creamsicle seeds. I told Lori I am challenged by neons, and she picked up on that. But she eased me into dealing with my phobia by sending neon beads that actually pick up a color in the focal, so I think I may be okay. Hold a good thought.

What did I send Lori? I forgot to take a picture before packaging it up, but you can see it here.  I can't wait to see what she makes with it!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Beads Are Good Medicine

Life brought me a few unexpected days at home this week - in the form of a nasty bug. But while sitting on the sofa looking and feeling fairly miserable, a tray of beads and findings that I've gotten through a monthly subscription to Bargain Bead Box spoke to me. Okay, maybe that was a fever hallucination. Whatever.

Apparently, a low-grade fever can also be a creativity spark, because a couple of necklaces almost made themselves as I sorted through the beads.  The first thing that caught my eye was some lovely light blue faceted beads with a slight iridescence, which were a match for some beads I'd been hoarding, waiting for the perfect pairing. 

See the cream/blue/brown beads there? Those were the ones I had been hoarding. They are so pretty.
Paired with some transparent light brown crystals with the same iridescence, and a few dozen knots later, I had a lovely long necklace.

Then another combination jumped out -- this time in deeper teal/turquoise. The findings that had come with one of the Bead Box selections included a packet of eyepins, so this necklace was more of a rosary style.  

When I laid the two side by side, a sickroom miracle occurred -- they actually went together nicely! They are both very simple, but simple was what I needed. And everything doesn't have to be at a triple-back-flip-with-a-double-twist level of difficulty, right?

And yes, I did choose a work outfit specifically to wear these necklaces together when I went back to the office.

The beads were very therapeutic. Now, if I could only figure out a way to have the doctor prescribe a nice visit to the bead store - do you think the insurance company would go for that?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Picasso Passion

Admission time.  I'm a sucker for a picasso finish on a bead.

So when I found some delicious little picasso lentils that had swirls of turquoise, cream, caramel, brown, and grey, those babies practically leapt into my shopping basket.

What a lousy photograph! Trust me, the beads are far more fabulous than this.
Just think of this as the bead's drivers licence photo - those are always a little wonky.

And who am I to argue with the beads?  They are luminescent and light, and just brought a smile to my face.

When it came time to introduce them to their beady friends, I decided to play up the turquoise and let them all shine in a fairly simple right angle weave design.

The necklace curves nicely around the neck, and falls right inside the collar of a blouse.

Sometimes the beads just tell you what the design needs to be. This was one of those, and it made me very happy.  I hope you like it, too!