Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How Did It Get To Be JUNE 23!?!?!

Good grief. And I was doing a decent job of keeping up with my blog for awhile there.

Now I'm way behind on peyote cuff designs, both new ones and getting patterns finished for some of the newer designs I did this year (not to mention patterns for all my older designs!). And I missed a few Fabulous Friday Finds posts, so I have to try to catch up on that this week. I have lots of goodies to show off.

So why has my blog been neglected?

Well, we've been working like crazy on house plans. Finalizing, changing, finalizing again (yes, I know that's silly), calling contractors, sending plans out for bids, meeting contractors at our property to show them the lay of the land, calling more contractors, sending emails, looking for building materials. There's a LOT involved in building a house, and since I'd reaaaaaaaaaaaly like to get started on the house soon I have to help Pat out with all the preparations. I can hardly wait till we start building, although I should probably NOT be looking forward to painting thousands of square feet worth of siding...

And I've been busy doing some custom bead crochet pieces. They're such fun, and I haven't done that much crocheting in the past couple of years. It's a time-consuming process, involving creating a pattern, stringing hundreds or thousands of beads, and then crocheting for hours.

I'll just show you some pictures of my most recent creations here, and then I have more crocheting to do! :-)

This is a bracelet I created as a gift for the customer who ordered There and Back (a bead crochet rope I showed in a previous blog post).

I had some of the picasso finish beads left over from the rope, so I thought I'd make a bracelet; and as I was digging through my stash I came across the PERFECT beads to use as focals. I could hardly believe how well they matched the picasso beads!

The recipient of the bracelet LOVED it. Yay! :-)

Then it was off to string beads for the next project, Caribbean Blues, a bead crochet rope using more of the picasso beads (have I mentioned how much I love these beads? the customer loves them too!).

I was asked this time to make a 60" long rope with a random striped pattern, so as I strung the 7200 beads required for the rope I picked out like color beads to make the stripes and left some of the beads mixed so there are stripes of the mix also.

What you see here is about 5600 beads... I had to string more to finish the rope.

And here's the finished rope. The random stripes make it really interesting, don't you think?

This took two and a half hanks of beads, size 11/0 crocheted six around.

I'm not very good at keeping track of the time I spend crocheting (or doing any beadwork, for that matter), but I know I crocheted through a couple of episodes of Warehouse 13, three of Desperate Housewives, one of Lie to Me, one of Justified, and a few others I can't remember.

It's a lot of hours. But it's worth it.

The customer already has it in her hands, and she told me she loves it and will be wearing it with her jeans. How perfect is that?

I thought you might like to see a closeup of the beads.

'Cuz they are GORGEOUS!

The best source I found for the picasso beads is my new Etsy friend, Shannon Ferguson. Her shop name is beadsandbabble, and she has a wonderful selection of beads. Not just the picassos, but all kinds of other Czech glass goodies.


Somewhere between making Caribbean Blues and the next project (which is in progress), I made a rope using some Miyuki hex beads. I wanted to see how these would work, since most of the ropes I've done have been made with Czech glass beads.

This piece is called Puttin' on the Glitz, and it's listed in my Etsy shop.

At 45", this continuous rope works well as a necklace (a single loop or doubled) or as a bracelet. It's sooooooo sparkly!

I also carved out some time to create this rather over-the-top necklace called Dagny Taggart.

This was created for the first ever Bead Art Originals challenge theme, A Novel Idea. It was based on my all-time favorite book -- Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. More specifically, it was based on the protagonist in the novel, Dagny Taggart, a strong woman who basically runs the railroad owned by her family.

It didn't win the challenge, but I'm still happy with the way it turned out. The focal section of this was woven with peyote stitch using Czech glass beads in a mixture of grays and blacks with "rails" made from steel colored size 8/0 delicas. There are long rectangular wooden beads making up the rest of the railroad. That's the "work" side of Dagny's life.

At one point in the book, Dagny is described as wearing a simple black dress with a diamond bracelet as the only adornment, so the necklace portion of my piece was made using Miyuki black hex beads woven in herringbone stitch, with a small band of silver-lined crystal hex beads and a large faceted crystal button as the closure.

And now it's time for me to get back to work on crocheting... I'm working on a bead crochet rope made from size 11/0 DELICAS!! I had never thought of using delicas for bead crochet, but they're beautiful. I'll save pictures of that piece for later. Or you can visit my Facebook fan page to see them, if you're really curious. :-)


Athena said...

Nice to see you back! Your crochet and bead work's gorgeous. Good luck with your house plans, and I always look forward to your Friday Finds! :)

Mary T Designs said...

Good luck with your house! Building can be very exciting and at the same time exhausting. I love the ropes. I have not yet tried bead crochet, but I have purchased a hood and some thread in anticipation that someday I will get up enough nerve to try it! It looks like you have mastered this art!