Monday, July 28, 2008

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

My significant other, who happens to be countrywindows on Etsy, is a treasury fanatic. He loves putting them together and is always trying to come up with new ideas for a theme. This weekend I was whining to him that I don't get to curate treasuries as often as he does because he's retired and I still have to work full time. I really enjoy doing treasuries too and it's just not fair that he gets to do more of them than I do!

Today he called me as I was heading home for lunch and told me if I hurried I could try to get in on a treasury because it was opening in about 30 minutes. I told him thanks but I had other stuff I needed to do, thinking I'd never have time anyway. I didn't have a title or theme. I hadn't researched any items, etc. But after I'd checked my email, I decided to look at the Treasury and sure enough, there was still 20 minutes to go. So, I think, what the heck, can I make it? What can I do for a theme? I wanted to do another one with EBW people cause I like being able to promote the team. So I did a search in tags for EBW and one of the first pieces I saw was Arosebyname's harlequin bracelet and I thought, "That's it! Diamonds!" The rest is history and preserved for posterity on my computer using webCollect (Thank you, Grandma Marilyn!) and shown here for your viewing pleasure. By the way, I was late getting back to work by about 5 minutes but I wound up staying 30 minutes late tonight so more than made up for it. :)

What's New

Haven't blogged for a week. I've been trying to spend more time creating and less time on the computer. I'm afraid I've become a bit of an internet junkie. Etsy is very addictive and I love reading the blogs from other EBW members, posting in the forums and going on chat. Sometimes, I'm even moved to post a comment, although I'm still kind of shy about that.

My hard work all week paid off though. I finished a watch and a necklace, both of which I've gotten listed on Etsy. I've been wanting to try watch bands for the longest time and not too long ago I bought a lot of watch faces from BeadingUSA on Etsy. It was an assortment with some really pretty styles. My first one turned out so well, I'm really excited about working up the rest. Yesterday I finished my second. It's not as intricate as the first; a simple weave, but I'm just as happy with the result. Eight more to go! I'm having so much fun with these, I'll probably end up buying another lot.

The necklace I just listed this weekend I'm extremely pleased with. I think it's one of the prettier pieces I've done. It started out to be a bracelet, but then I realized I was going to run out of the cats eye beads I was using for the biggest bead in a cellini spiral so I thought, why not use it as a focal piece on a necklace instead. In the middle of it, I had to run to the store for needles and of course one simply cannot go into a store or aisle with beads and not browse just a little (translated: spends at least an hour looking). During my browsing, what did I find but the perfect faceted glass beads to compliment my spiral section! Gee, I'm glad I needed needles!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Change of Plan

I finished my Art Deco Challenge bracelet last night. It looks a bit different from the work in progress I posted previously. While I liked the black and white color scheme and the diamond shape brick stitch, I just wasn't happy with the curved brick stitch connecting the diamonds. So that piece is sitting in my reject pile to be reworked or torn apart and I started fresh. This time I just stuck with alternating diamonds in black and white with a 3mm firepolish crystal woven into the center of each. After several starts and stops on the edging, I wound up using the black crystals on each side with a picot at each diamond point using the clear crystal. Finished it up with a peyote ring and bar and I like it! It reminds me of a harlequin so thought that would be a good name for it. Now just need to get it listed on Etsy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Etsy Listings

After a fantastic Saturday celebrating my oldest son's and my oldest grandson's July birthdays, I figured I'd better get back on task with the bead and flower business. I had some pieces I've never managed to get photographed to list and since today turned out to be very sunny (the patio thermometer showed 100!), there seemed to be no time like the present. Seems like I've done so much in blues lately, too; these are both more red and pink and a nice change of scenery for my shop.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

August Challenge

Had so much fun with the July challenge, I thought, what the heck, I'll give August a go too. Had to do a little research on Art Deco style and learned that geometric shapes and black and white were biggies. So far this is what I've come up with. This is the base and I want to do some embellishment, but it hasn't totally come to me yet. I haven't done anything with brick stitch for a long time, so this was enjoyable going back to an old favorite. The very first pieces I learned to do were brick stitch.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Love Treasuries! I did the one with dragons for something different and because I love all things mystical and magical. Plus I was born in the year of the dragon. The other, I discovered this morning, includes my favorite piece, Truely Turquoise. It looks really good with all those other turquoise pieces.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Old is new again

Years back, when I first became fascinated with cabochons, I made up agate slices with peyote bezels. Having an open back was a plus with the slices, so you could see thru them, but it was a royal pain trying to get the bezel to fit just right. Then I discovered netted bezels. Kind of like catching your hair in a snood. Much easier than plain peyote to fit odd sized slices and stones and very pretty. Then I found my "bible", a book called "Beading with Cabochons" by Jamie Cloud Eakin. With the techniques in this book, the possibilities were endless. The one concession I had to make was that the stones were no longer "free", but were captured by being glued to a backing. I really had to work my way past this, because I have always had the odd notion that every stone or cabochon has it's own spirit. They still speak to me though and whisper how they would like to be embellished, even caught to the backing. When I picked up this bright green jade cab to decide how I wanted to work it, it seemed to say, "Let me stay free!" I thought, why not? I haven't designed a backless bezel for a long time. I started with peyote on the back, changed to netting around the cab and went back to peyote on the top. Then I really dug deep into the old memory for something for the chain. I had met a beadweaver by the name of Peggy Sue Henry at a craft show several years ago and bought one of her books. She had done this amazing turquoise and amber necklace using a netting technique I think she called "Stacking". She taught it in the book I purchased. I asked her if she cared if I tried to make a necklace like hers to sell and she responded that I was welcome to as long as I didn't mass produce. Believe me, there is no way that necklace could be mass produced! I did make a necklace similar and sold it, but I'll never make another. However, I enjoyed the stacked netting and decided to try it for this necklace. Unfortuneateley, I can't find my instructions anymore, so I had to do it from memory. It came out pretty good. I thought I was done there, but the cab still seemed to want a bit more so I started going thru my bead stash and came up with the irridescent leaf beads. The rest just kind of fell into place. I enjoyed making this piece so much, I may have to do another backless bezel soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Nice Surprise!

I spoke with a friend this evening and he was telling me that he had found himself in one of the new treasuries. He suggested that I check to see if I was in one, too. I told him I would look later when I had a chance, thinking "yeah, right, that would be some surprise." And it was! I did a doubletake when I saw that little gold star beside Sandfiber's "I have the blissful blues..." So, of course, I had to do a screen capture to post here on my blog. Was hoping to have new stuff to show by now, but the latest one's not quite there yet, so this is very exciting in the meantime! The talent of the EBW members just blows me away sometimes and it's such a pleasure to be included in their ranks.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Crystal Pink Persuasion

Just finished this piece this morning. I'm really liking it. It's kind of sweet and simple and it was just the kind of project I needed right now. I love pendants but needed a break from my cabs. I found this pretty little rose quartz piece at a bead store in Springfield, Mo, while on vacation. It was just one of several stones I purchased there. In fact, I think I bought two of the rose quartz pendants. It's so pretty on its own that I didn't want to do a lot to cover it up, just enhance it, so I did an explosion of branch fringe at the top and bottom and then just did a simple chain of RAW. I found the pink FW pearls and the pink quartz coin beads at the same shop and they worked in nicely.
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A new twist

Several months ago I bought all these wonderful seed and bugle beads from a gal who had listed them on Craig's List. She bought them from a formal wear boutique that had gone out of business. I have had many pleasurable hours sorting and then working with those beads. Included were these beautiful midnight blue bugles. I wanted to use them in a special way but struggled to come up with something. Finally, I went back to my tried and true cabochons. I had one that was deep enough that I could weave the bugles into the bezel; it made sort of a crown effect which I really like. Then for the chain - spiral, I thought, using the bugles in the spiral. Again, I really liked the results. I think the whole finished piece turned out quite nice and I still have tons of those gorgeous dark blue bugles to play with! I used to be afraid of working with bugles because they always cut my thread, but since I've discovered fireline, I get much better results.
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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wow, Two!!

I'm so excited! Discovered this morning that I'm in two Etsy treasuries. It's so fun (and also a little bit mind boggling) to think that my creations are conceivablely being viewed by people from all over the world! Not bad for this ol' county girl from Podunk, Kansas. I have always loved what I do and I have made some very lovely things over the years but the ones that fulfill me the most are the ones that I come up with like "Come Play in the Moonlight". It's extremely satisfying to me that finally, I'm able to apply techniques and stitches learned from others' work to pieces I can call my own. That's what I like so much about cabochons. They always have a way of creating themselves into something truely one of a kind.