Monday, March 29, 2010

Ta Da!!

It's done.  My very first ever bead embroidered cuff is complete.  In my previous post, I outlined my approach to it's creation.  The final steps after finishing the beadwork were to glue the beaded portion to the metal cuff and then to stitch a bead edging around the entire cuff.  I learned that next time I need to add just a tad more to the length of the bead backing.  I really had to stretch the beadwork to meet the edge of the ultrasuede on the ends.  I also learned that I really enjoyed doing this kind of work and I've got some ideas floating around in my head for the next endeavor.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another New Adventure

Even though I have been beadweaving for around twenty years, there is still soooo much I've never tried. Other members of my Etsy team, Etsy Beadweavers Team, are constantly providing me with inspiration and encouragement to expand my horizons, not to mention, how-to and resource information. When I emailed the group recently that I would like to try my hand at making a shaped cuff over a metal form, several members were quick to point me in the right direction. Besides providing me with some pretty darn good written instructions, they also suggested the book "The Art of Bead Embroidery" by Serrafini and Kumli and a terrific video both on YouTube and at Fire Mountain Gems with Sherry Serrafini showing step by step how to put together a cuff on a metal foundation. So armed with a little bit of knowledge and a lot of determination, I've set about to create my first bead embroidered cuff on a metal band.

First, I measured my aluminum cuff blank (purchased from gottagetadeal on Etsy) and made a template for future use. Then I cut a lining for the inside of the cuff from black ultrasuede and glued it to the inside of the foundation. I also cut a piece of backing for the embroidery out of a stiff felt. This is the same backing material I use for cabochon necklaces. Next, I glued in place the three cabochons I had selected to use as focals. The center one is a faux red jasper and the two outer ones are repurposed button earrings. I loved the blend of colors in them! Now I was ready to choose beads for enhancing the cabs.

There were lots of reds, copper, bronze and even black in the button earring "cabs" so of course those were the colors I went with. Picked out seed beads, firepolish crystals and some glass and metal accent beads and I was ready to roll.

Other than positioning the three cabs and knowing that I would bezel them with the crystals and seed beads, I really didn't have a pre-formed notion of what I was going to do. The piece is sort of evolving from "what if and let's try this" moments. Oddly enough, I've found that some of my best work happens this way. So far, I'm pleased with this creative process and think the cuff is going to be a keeper. My boyfriend says it's gaudy and maybe it is, but I love color and texture. So I shall continue on doing what I do and when it's all finished, I'll post it here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Crafting Weekend

It was a weekend with time to craft. So nice. Yesterday I set up at a small local ladies' show. You know, the kind that mixes commercial vendors with handmade vendors, but all geared to women's interests. Weather was wintery, crowd was minimal, but it was a pleasant day. My card cases were a big hit and many people who know me in this tiny community didn't realize I do beadweaving so I guess, in a way, I managed to get my name out there. For a change, there seemed to be a lot more interest in my handcrafted work than in the two commercial jewelry party vendors also in attendance.

We made it home in plenty of time to catch the NCAA basketball games on television that I wanted to watch. (Yes, I admit it. I am a college basketball junkie.) This year my team is doing well and I have enjoyed the game even more than usual. While I first watched a huge, exciting upset game and then a second game, which my team won, I finished my item for the Etsy Beadweavers Spring Swap. Amazingly, I didn't even spill any beads, because I can become extremely, shall we say, animated during ballgames!

Today it's still a bit snowy outside so I headed to my basement floral workroom and focused on building floral arrangements for the Spring craft show I do in April. I created four table and one wall arrangement before the fingers and back called for a break. It was a nice change of pace to work with my florals and I think I came up with some very pretty designs. My favorite of todays is one I put in an old rusty metal scoop I picked up at a yard sale.
I photographed all the florals as well as the Spring Swap beadwork (which will be revealed at a later date) and there's still some good crafting hours left in the day. Hmmm, florals or

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something Different

It's been ages since I've gotten out the polymer clay to work with. Like most of my creative endeavors, the clay was put on the back burner for a while. But now that life is calming down a bit, I was anxious to continue my experimenting. Last November, I purchased some blank business card holders to embellish and I've been itching to see what I could do with them. I've seen such terrific examples on line and in instruction books, but I started out pretty simple. I only bought five of the blanks to begin with and had so much fun with those I've put in an order for ten more! Hopefully, I can find fifteen people who want these. Here's what my very first efforts look like. Feedback would be very appreciated.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Man, it has been forever since I've done a blog post! Since the end of December, my life has been a bit upside down. I temporarily had custody of my then 6 month old grandson. Let's just suffice it to say that babies dramatically change the way you live your life and many things were put on hold, including my blog posting. Happily, he is now back where he belongs with my daughter and hopefully, I am back to blogging on a more regular basis.

My only dilemna now is what to blog about on a regular basis. Well, for starters, one of my Etsy teams, Kansas Etsy Team, has started doing giveaways on our blog. Starting today and through March 13, I am the featured vendor and am giving away this beadwoven bracelet.

For a chance to win, please visit and follow the entry instructions.