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I finally have my computer hooked up again AND I found my digital camera. So pictures of my weekly work will be coming again. I am hoping to go back to completing at least one piece a week. If for no other reason then it will help me gather a stock together that I can sell. I know I need to use supplies that I have already... it makes good financial sense. It's so hard though when I know there are projects I really want to do and cannot because I really can't justify going and buying the supplies right now.

WIP

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This piece is a work in progress. What I am showing is the central beaded cab of a new necklace I am working on. Since it is a work in progress I am not going to share a lot of details because I want to wait until I am ready to show the whole piece. However, it is a large glass cab that was made for me by hand by a glass artist. The picture is terrible and I am sorry for that but my scanner simply will NOT pick up the colors and beauty of this cab. I am hoping when the piece i all finished that my best friend will let me borrow her camera so I can photograph it properly. It is embellished with size 6 and 11 seed beads, size 9 Charlottes and backed in ultra suede. it is truly lovely in person. The only thing I am the slightest bit unhappy about is that part of the green seeds (which you really cant see in the picture) that is supposed to be framing the cab, keeps 'folding' underneath the piece.

Pearl Brooch

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Well today I completed my first for sale piece in a long time. It was a challenge to get back into this type of work. I have missed it so very much. I've learned a lot of new techniques since I started beading. This brooch was inspired by some of the bead artists that I consider to be 'artists' and whom I aspire to be able to create like. This piece was also inspired by a book I borrowed form the library called Beading with Cabochons. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.


The brooch is a fossil coral (thanks!)bezelled in tiny gold seed beads and warm luscious brown seed beads. It is also accented by freshwater pearls and super tiny silver lined seed beads. The back is lined in a creamy beige Ultrasuede.


Unfortunately I don't have a camera so I had to scan it and since it is not flat it really lost something in the scan. But it is still lovely despite that.

A very busy week 10

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I was just hit with the inspiration bug this week. The week isn't over yet. In fact, it's only Tuesday, but I have 5 bracelets to show off. These were all done over a 3 or 4 day period since my last post. Needless to say however, I have certainly met my quota for week 10. :)


All of the chains are made with 20g bright aluminum 1/8" ID.
The first one is called Crys Cuff since I made it specifically for me. It's Euro 4in1 and five rows wide. It hugs my wrist and feels really slinky on.
The second one is called Droplets. I think the little blue magatama beads look like little drops of water. I enjoyed making this piece because it allows me to combine my first love (beads) with my current passion (chain). Other than that is is also a Euro 4in1 weave and fits snugly on the wrist.
The third chain I called Rain. It is a shaggy loops bracelet but one side of each section of loops contains a magatama drop bead. This caused the beads to spiral around the chain. It is really beautiful in person despite it being made in aluminum. It looks incredibly delicate and feminine on. I am really pleased with it. I am really looking forward to getting a hold of some of the end drilled swarovski crystals so I can try this with crystals.
The fourth bracelet here is called Roger's Cuff because I made this specifically for my hubby. He has been wanting a bracelet for a while now but since I am working with such small rings everything was coming out to dainty I think. (mind you that's my opinion, he loved them) However, when I went to my LBS the other day to get some clasps I noted these multi strand clasps that felt masculine to me. They toggles are made with a squarish wire and the bar itself is rectangular. It just felt manly to me. So I constructed a five row Euro 4in1 for him. My only 'complaint' with this one is the toggle was not wide enough to accommodate more rows. I think it would look better at 9 or 11 rows. For the next one I will try it in 18g as opposed to 2o and try and get 9 rows or so in there.
Finally the fifth one is called The Eyes Have It. I made a shaggy loops bracelet. It was my very first one that I had made. While I thought it was very cute, it felt lacking. I think this was mostly because the rings are so small that it didn't feel like it had any weight though it did have some character. So, when at my LBS I bought a new bag of little eye beads. I love these beads so much. I am always buying different colors and sizes because I think they are totally awesome. So, I got out the 22g wire.. (i think it was the 22) and wrapped a WHOLE BUNCH of these tiny little eyes. I did a wrapped loop at the top, then threaded the bead on and wrapped the tail of the wire in a spiral up the side of the bead and then tucked the tail in with the wrapped loop. It took a really long time but I think it looks sweet! For this bracelet though, there are only drops on alternating sides of every other section of loops.
Well that's it so far!

Week 9 Roundmaille

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This week I wanted to try another new weave. When I was at the renaissance festival recently, I saw a bracelet that intrigued me a lot. I recognized the weave as being roundmaille from pictures I had seen of it before. I had to look up how to do it and I finally found a tutorial on the M.A.I.L website. The instructions were kind of hard to understand though. It wanted me to start out with a section of 4 in 1 and then roll it up and connect it together. While it sounded very straightforward, in practice it was so hard for me to get it to work. I only did a small section, maybe 8 or ten links like that.


However, I really wanted it to work for me. So after studying it for a while, I discovered there was a pattern I could follow by adding just one link at a time to the ends in a circular motion rather than rolling up a sheet. It worked wonderfully for me and I think I got quite a bit speedy at it.


Rather then keep reusing the same base metal claps and findings over and over and over again I went to my LBS and picked up a couple packages of clasps. Now I have a few more to keep moving around so that at least I can show them pictured with clasps on them.


This particular bracelet I cannot wait to try in Sterling Silver and Gold Fill. I think it is going to look breath taking in the two metals together. I am excited.


The stats on this bracelet are the same as they have been. 20g Bright Aluminum 1/8" ID. The clasp is a really really pretty silver plated toggle with a swirly leaf pattern on it.

For Mom!

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My mothers birthday is coming up. March 4Th is the wonderful day. I love birthdays and I adore my mommy. I was trying to come up with something to give her. I usually give her jewelry so I wanted to come up with something else. I pulled out a few swarovski crystals and some sterling silver beads. Then I pulled out a small hummingbird charm that I picked out for her. She collects hummingbirds as you would notice immediately if you ever visited her house.


I put them all together and made her a cellphone charm! I know she has never had one and I think she will think it's cute if nothing else. She will appreciate the thought and the materials at least. I am hoping she will really like it as it something new that she hasn't had before. When I make her card I might post that here too even though it's not actually jewelry.
The picture isn't great because it's scanned as opposed to photographed, but you can get the idea.

Week - 8 Romanov Bracelet

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I am still sick so I anticipated making a very simple piece this week. However, after making the Romanov ring, the idea for the bracelet just wouldn't leave my head. I didn't have anymore tiny blue beads for the center of the byzantine sections, so this time I added tiny ruby red check glass beads. It was less labor intensive than I imagined it would be. You will not the clasp doesn't match the metal of the bracelet. This is of course because I am just practicing with this bright aluminum metal and and recycling and reusing findings as I see fit for each weeks projects.


This bracelet will look absolutely stunning when I do it in Sterling silver with swarovski crystals in place of the red beads. I think I am also going to try one with a few different colors of check beads in it as an example of a mothers bracelet. I think it would be beautiful for any other to have the birthstones of her children in the center of the Romanov sections. The extra sections could simply have sterling silver beads in their centers or I suppose in theory be left empty. With the right ring ration I imagine the shape could be kept even while it is empty. However my personal preference would be to put SS beads in there as I think it would be elegant and beautiful.


The earrings match the bracelet perfectly. They are the same size rings and the tiny red beads are the same as well. In future attempts, I may add a dangle to the bottom of the earrings. It might give them a little more movement, but I am very pleased with how these came out.
I almost forgot. 20g bright aluminum 1/8" ID.

Week - 7

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I am back on time and on track for week 7. This is not a theme piece and in truth I don't even know what the theme is this week. I am sick and have still been really busy with another project right now so this was a quick piece for me. I had not tried the Romanov design yet so I thought I would give it a try. I feel very fortunate that it worked out the first time with just a little experimentation on my part. I just sat down to fidget with it and so did no research as to ring size or anything. It is slightly bulky to wear, but I am used to wearing my 4 in 1 ring which lies flat. The roundness of it took just a little getting used too but I enjoy wearing it.


I am still working with the same set of rings so the measurements and materials of the rings has not changed. The bead in the center of the Romanov chain piece is a light blue check bead even though it came out somewhat green on the scan. There really isn't much else to say about this piece other than I am really eager to try and make a matching bracelet. I don't know what I will be tackling THAT project though.

Week 6

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Week 6 is an accessory to week 5's piece. I am finding myself very busy lately so I needed to have a coupe of quick projects ready to go. Since Valentines day is coming I created a strap to compliment the mesh bag. It is the perfect accessory for a romantic night on the town. I will be giving it a test run on Wednesday the 14Th.




To make the strap, (which is necklace length as it is designed to be worn in the fashion of a necklace) I strung red and purple check fire polished glass beads on beading wire. I used wire as opposed to thread or fishing line because I wanted the added strength. Both ends of the strap have complimentary findings that are attached to the bag so that straps can be switched about with ease.

It was a fun quick project but I am really happy with the result. I was saving all these mixed sizes of beads and not really sure what I was going to do with them. I am very glad I held onto them now!


Week 5

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I am late posting week 5 and week 6. I may even be late with week 7 but I am not completely sure yet. The pieces have been getting done, but events going on in my life outside the Internet have been making me late with posting. However, I have pictures and updates ready for pieces for week 5 and week 6.




Week 5 is another prototype for mesh bags made from Chainmaille. Again it is 20g 1/8" ID rings. I really like this size of ring for these small bags. The rings are not too cumbersome to work with, but at the same time the provide a mode of privacy for whatever is inside the bag. The bags themselves are so silky and wonderful feeling. The piece I displayed for week 4 was a bag I wore to the renaissance festival. It took the abuse of hours and hours of merrymaking. I was however disappointed that I didn't make it large enough to even hold business cards.




Needless to say when I got home I started a new design. This is still a work in progress as I am not 100% happy with the design yet, but I am getting there. I used various findings that I had around the house to try different methods of keeping the bag closed and to attach the changeable straps. This is why the metals don't match. I am still in the experimenting stage.
However, I really enjoyed the project despite the fact the added size almost doubled the time it took to craft it. But now it is the PERFECT size for holding ID's, Driver Licence, Business Cards, Money, Credit cards AND Hotel Room keys, or Cruise Credit Keys.

Week 4

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This weeks piece was inspired by a pattern I found in the Best of Beadwork. I changed the colors up. It actually came out a bit more masculine in color than I had intended but I enjoy it very much. The original pattern called for 2.5-3mm Crystals in the center of the bracelet but I instead chose to add 4mm cubes. It really feels wonderful on. I had planned to do another chain piece next week, but I may decide to give another one of these a go with new colors. I am very happy with how it came out. I did make it just slightly too large though. That is something I need to work on. I find it difficult to properly size things.


So week 4's bracelet is made with four colors of seeds and size 4 miyuki cubes. This Wednesday passed I went shopping and cannot wait to start using the things that I have bought. I got 10 seed hanks, in a mix of 11's and 15's. I got a couple of colors of cubes, some citrine, some tiny crystals, some fossil coral, and some BEAUTIFUL opalite. I'm very excited. Oh! I also treated myself to a new beading mat, and bought a necklace sizer. It was a good shopping day.

Week 3 - Take Flight

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This week's piece did NOT start out as a theme piece. I am going to a renaissance faire next weekend and wanted a small necklace pouch to wear. I have made one before in copper. It was featured in an earlier post as it was one of Roger's Christmas gifts. The weaving of the bag was fairly simple. 20g 1/8" ID worked up very nicely in a 4in1 weave bag. However... This piece nearly took flight several times from my desperately wanting to launch it out a window. The embellishments KILLED me. Granted, they are pretty basic, but I think they are rather pretty. The problem came about the only thing I had in a silver color was some nickle. I am insane. It was sooooo hard to work with. I thought I had 20g but it was actually 18g. It was hard on my hands, it wouldn't DO anything I tried to make it do. In the end I spent several HOURS just rigging up the long bars so the bag would keep its shape and then embellished them with some blue glass drops that I am rather fond of. I tell you what though... just making sure that bar in the front with the blue drops on it was hanging properly nearly made me tear my hair out. The picture is not fantastic because It's a scan so it looks all scrunched up, but the piece does look pretty cute when its hanging.




As crazy as I am, this is still a prototype for a piece to come. It won't be next week because I am pretty sure I will be doing a beaded piece next week, but perhaps the week after. I am going to be making a wearable fashion purse. I am very excited and of course there will be more details to come... when the time comes. :) Until then, here is week 3's piece... Take Flight.

Mistake in the Mist

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So this was the piece I created first for the week 2 YOJ. However, it never seemed to work. When it finally felt 'finished' I Still didn't like it. I think the main problem was, the original idea i had for it wouldn't work. I had intended to string smokey black seed beads, and gold accents with some silver tossed in for glitter on beading wire, and then weave the wire through the links of the chain to give it an airy misty feel. But the chain kept bunching and it just looked terrible. So in the end, I created 2, 2-2 chains. one in copper and one in bright aluminum. I Connected them together giving it a swag appearance. Then I used short pieces of beading wire and silver crimp beads embellished with black, gold, and silver beads. It was still missing something after that, so I added long blue bugle beads with glass crystals at the end. While it's shape turned out elegant, I just don;t like the finished piece. As it stands, I shall be taking it apart to salvage the chains which I do like separately. But just to show I do learn from my mistake I present.. "Mistake in the Mist"

Kisses in the Mist

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Once again I have completed this piece quite a few days ago but have been trying to get photos of it. I just couldn't get a scan of it at all. Since I could not fine my digital camera, I used a friends. But unfortunately on their camera, there was not a macro setting. So, the pictures do not show a lot of detail. When I do find my camera, I will re-shoot everything.


This piece is called Kisses In The Mist and was inspired by the theme in YOJ. Since I submitted the theme, I thought I should try and work with it. It's a bracelet and earrings set. The earrings don't have their ear-wires attached yet because I didn't have any in the right color. When I am able to get to the store and pick some up, I will attach them and hopefully be able to take a new picture.


To me, the theme suggested something dark, and silvery, and sexy, and sort of mysterious. I started with a byzantine bracelet. I've been wanting to try the weave anyway. It's 20g bright aluminum 1/8" ID. I found the weave itself to be surprisingly easy and I adore the look of it. I can't wait to make another one. I really enjoyed it. I then embellished it with some large beads I had been holding onto for a while. I am not sure what size they are though. They are all a grass green color. Two of them are just translucent. Two of them are lamp-worked beads with white and black bullseye's and dots. There are also two matching lamp-worked ones in about an 6 or 8 mm size that I used in the earrings. The beads to me felt like the mist, but there was something missing. I had a few dolphin charms that were brightly silver colored. So I put the dolphins around the breads. They didn't really want to fit so I had to really work to try and get them attached to the bracelet. But I finally did. To me it looks like a silver dolphin is jumping up to kiss the moon out of a misty swirling sea. The bracelet is heavy and feels good on.


To round it out I made a pair of byzantine earrings to match the bracelet. I made one section of the byz, put a bead and then one more section of the byz. I am pretty happy with this piece.

Rogers Christmas Gift

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This was my first experiment with maille recently. It's a copper dice bag for when we play Dungeons and Dragons. It was a gift for Roger and unfortunately the rings didn't arrive until after Christmas so he got it a little bit late. It's 4 in 1 20g copper 1/8" ID. I made the bead bail ring wrapped loop things myself with a little trial and error and out of 20g copper wire. They are black glass as near as I can tell. The straps for the bag are 2 in 2 chain. I really REALLY like it and I am thinking of making myself a necklace out of the copper in the 2in2 for myself. To make the bag be able to hang from his belt, I made a ring of copper 2 in 2 and attached it to a retractable cord that has a belt clip on the back. Then I attached a lobster claw to the ring of 2 in 2 so he could remove it from the cord if he wanted to. I also included here a picture of the dice he keeps in the bag. I really enjoyed this and am going to be trying to do one in bright aluminum next.

WEEK 1 - YOJ

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So I finished my first piece for the YOJ challenge at the Creative Wire Art Forum at Delphi. I actually had it finished on the 2nd of January, but I have been procrastinating putting it up this whole time because I wanted to photograph it with my digital camera. Unfortunately, we cleaned for the holidays and now I can't find the camera. So, I had to scan the earrings.

For my first project I made a pair of maille earrings. They are large diamond shapes done in the 4in1 weave. (I am almost positive, that shows how new I am at this). I can't really afford to use Sterling Silver yet, so I did these in bright aluminum. They are so light I might actually be able to wear them. I copied this design with much variation on how they are embellished, from a pair I got on clearance at an outlet store. But the ones I picked up, purely because I love the look of them, are MONSTROUSLY heavy... much to heavy to wear. So I am really pleased that these are light. I like the look of them too, they just don't sparkle like silver does.

Anyway, they are embellished with Swarovski crystals in amethyst and crystal AB. They worked up very fast and I did notice that the aluminum is much tougher to work then the copper I had been working with over Christmas. I wasn't prepared for how much more effort it took to get a really good closure on the rings. That is my goal to work on now. I want to get perfectly closed rings every time. It's easier with the copper, but I can see I am going to most likely be using aluminum for a lot of my starting projects.

What I did discover, is that I desperately need another set of pliers. I have been using on chainnose and one jumpring tool. I very much need a set of flat nose pliers and maybe a set of bent nose too.

Oh, the rings are bright aluminum, 20g 1/8" ID. I had to get them that size for a different project I am working on, but in future, I am going to try and get my rings in metric sizes.