Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paying Homage to the Bangle

Don't you love bangles? I think they're so great. Layer a lot of them or just one big, chunky one. So comfortable, no closures to come loose and make you lose your bracelet, so versatile (dress them up or down).

So I'm into making bangles and I'm going to find the best one (for me). I've bought some awesome patterns and will be trying them out. For now, here's what I've done:

The blue bangle you've seen from my blog soup.

It's wobbly and wavy and doesn't want to stay round. Not good.

And then, even though I thought I was done with pink, it seems I wasn't. So back here's another pink one and it's going in the box to Teena -- when she gets an address I can send things to. (Her house was totalled by the flood. There's no going home.)

These two bracelets were similarly made. Make a base of peyote stitch in size 11 delicas, then (in the blue one) add a couple of rows of larger beads and zip it up. With the pink & white one, the same base  in size 11 delicas, then switch to size 11 seeds. I like this better. (BTW, it's a pattern from Debbie VonTonder).

But I saved the best for last. Can't really compare them because they're totally different but this last one I have to show you is (so far) my favorite and I totally made it up!  First I did one version with tila beads in 2 rows and a mix of seed beads.
This was just okay. The mix of seed beads wasn't good because it made the tilas go all wonky. But I felt like there was potential there so I took it apart and then did this. I totally love it!

This time I used 3 rows of tilas and plain size 8 seeds. I really love the feel of this. And it stands up by itself. Sturdy and metallic and totally awesome. Oh, and it's exactly the right size!  

So, of course, if one is good a couple is better. Right? In the case of bangles, this is definitely true. So here's version 2 of the Tila bangle:

This one has the tilas in a sort of tile arrangement, a little different from the first one. Which was do you think it looks best?  I am just loving these and have to make more. So I just placed an order for some more tila beads. WooHoo. Beady mail. Hope they get here soon, I'm so excited about this!

Helpful Hint from Not Heloise
And finally, a helpful hint that you all may already know but I "discovered" by chance. Forgive me if you know it and please don't send comments saying, "well, duh."  Here's the deal. Do you have scissors like these? They're just little thread snipping ones and I have them in with my beading stuff for Nymo and Fireline. One day while beading I had a hard time pulling my needle through the work and all my stuff was on my lap. I was too lazy to put it down and go get the pliers. So here's what I did:
Pretty nifty, eh? (If I do say so myself.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Wish List

Amy at Copper Diem started this Monday wish list. Go see what's she's adding on her list today!

You're here! Aren't your eyes glazed over from blog hopping all weekend. I'm writing this before the weekend because I know I'll be dazed and confused after all that hopping!  But here's what's new and covetable for me this week. From two sources (saving the best for last). 

From Etsy's BumbershootSupplies:

These headpins. Aren't they wonderful. Vintage, too.

Or these drops. OMG! So great!

How about these amazing beady flowery things?

And finally, something not blue. These sleek white drops make me think of a Brancusi sculpture -- all sleep and curved and I just want to fondle them!!

Really, there are too many cool old (i.e., vintage) things at this Etsy shop for me to list all the ones I love. Go and have a look for yourself. But don't buy the ones I have spotlighted. I saw them first! heehee.

And last but not least, never least is this. From our Bead Soup hostess herself, Lori Anderson at Pretty Things:

This necklace stopped me dead in my tracks the other day when she posted it. Click on it to see it bigger. It will knock your socks off.  It is so gorgeous and unique and vibrant. It practically sings with joy.  She's keeping this one and I can't blame her. Who wouldn't? But maybe a little thievery would work? Ha! 

And that's it for this Monday. I'm going to

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup in ON!

First, here's a link to Lori Anderson's link for all the 360+ blog hoppers!  Have fun but don't forget to stop and eat meals and sleep at night!!! 

As you may remember I have two partners in the Blog Soup Bead Party (I know, I know), and I had a really hard time trying to figure out what to make.  I received beads from Kelly at Adventures with Kelly and from Candice at Craziness...The Theme of My Life.  Here's what they sent me:

Kelly's soup
I really struggled with all this because I'm more of a bead weaver than a stringer. And the times I've done stringing have made me know that the people who do it well, (like our generous and outstandingly talented hostess, Lori Anderson at Pretty Things), are supremely talented in ways that I couldn't hope to approach. My friends are telling me I need more confidence but I don't think that's it. I'm usually not an unconfident person. I think what I really need is more experience and probably more education. I should take some classes!  I should do more of the stringing!

Candice's soup
But when I sit down to bead, it's the delicas & seeds that call my name and the umteen boxes of seed beady goodness. That's where my heart is and maybe that's because I'm not so good at the stringing. I'm dunno!

In the interest of fully revealing what happened to me on the way to this party, I will tell that I made a really, really ugly necklace! Oh my, it was bad. But I'll spare you from having to look at the disaster (and myself the humiliation) and just say that it was the Ugliest Necklace Ever.  So after looking at for a couple of days, it was back to the drawing board.

I ended up with a fairly long necklace using soup from both of my partners, a bracelet & a pair of earrings. Kelly's focal, a pendant from Kylie Parry is the focal I went with. I love the one from Candice, too, but it will have to be in a future work. In the end, I decided to forgo any clasp. The necklace is long and chunky and doesn't need one. I hope that doesn't break the rules too much!

The big reveal.

I started with the unusual chain that I won in a giveway from the lovely Cindy Wimmer at Sweet Bead Studio. It just seemed to go with the rustic feel that the soup was giving me.

Those long wooden beads made me think of branches on trees so it was seemed only natural to add a leaf on each one. I like that okay. I'm not crazy about the silver leaf chain w/ the butterflies but it just has to stay there b/c I couldn't figure out what else to put there.  The little antiqued brass flowers were also in Cindy's giveaway. I liked the way they went with all the chains.

Included in my soup were the blue beads & sparkly crystals. So it seemed that the sky & clouds should go with with the foresty, earthy necklace and earrings. I added my own light blue beads and made the blue bangle which I love and which went really quickly.  I'm sure you'll be seeing more bangles!


Since I had two of the long wooden beads left over, that meant, of course, that I had to have earrings!  I had glass topped headpins (I'm sorry I can't remember the artist who made these) in two colors of green (close enough for me) and used a couple of the seed beads from the soup and voila! Earrings. Oh, and I made my own earwires for the first time, too. (They are actually the same size but the photos make it look like one earwire is way bigger than the other.)

It certainly was true that this experience stretched me (to the breaking point a couple of times) and, best of all, I learned a lot from the whole thing. 

Now go on to the next person on the list. You'll get through them all before Halloween, I'm pretty sure. Ok, before Thanksgiving then. Go. What are you waiting for? GO!

Here's the list for you:
The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel

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