Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeeeeeee

Yep, today's my birthday. I'm enjoying the first latte of the day, watching Maverick (the original one, with James Garner) on TV (not my choice, but it's okay), and preparing to head to Asheville for a free birthday lunch at my favorite restaurant. Yay!

So this is just a quick blog post to tell you all that I'm giving YOU a present today... a coupon for my Etsy shop, good for TODAY ONLY, for a whopping 28% off anything in the shop!!! The coupon code is Birthday2011. Remember, this is good for today only. It's the largest discount I've ever offered, and you probably won't see this again.

I'm not sure I'll get any new pieces made today, but I did finish a new bangle of sorts yesterday. Melon Twist was made for the Bead Art Originals color mosaic, which you can see if you visit the BAO blog.

Melon Twist is a bead crochet rope made from a mixture of beautiful Czech glass size 11/0 beads. It's crocheted with eight beads around, which makes it more structural than a rope made with fewer beads around, and I added a wire and some extra stitching to help it hold its shape while it's being worn.

Okay, off to celebrate my birthday!! :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bead Journal Project 2011 - February Freeform

It's February. Actually, it's technically LATE February. And although I finished my February free form cuff for the Bead Journal Project 2011 a few weeks ago, I'm only now getting around to writing the post about it.

I have to say that if my birthday didn't fall in this month, I might have had to lie about my age or have my birth certificate altered so I could have amethyst as my birthstone. Next to black and white, purple is my favorite color. It was no surprise to me at all, when I went to my bead storage to choose the beads for February's cuff, that I had a multitude of purple beads from which to choose.

Freeform cuffs are such fun to create - not knowing how they're going to turn out when they're finished is part of the excitement. Watching them grow, inch by inch by inch, is an adventure in itself; and the process of creating them involves adding a bunch of beads and then holding the piece out at arm's length to see which beads want to be added next. Because the beads always tell you... :-)

This February cuff (which is available in my Etsy shop) has beads of all sorts in it: mother of pearl (which I used as a focal and also as the closure), glass beads, amethyst beads, Czech glass seed beads, tiny glass flowers (which are added at one edge, along with some coin beads, to make a funky little bit of fringe near the focal), Japanese delicas, drops, and all sorts of other goodies.

I mentioned before that this was created for the Bead Journal Project 2011. If you want to see more of the BJP projects, be sure to visit the blog.

March is coming up next, so stay tuned for a freeform cuff in aquamarine! :-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nifty Way to Show Off Etsy Treasuries

Isn't this cool? One of my friends on the Full Time Etsy Crafters team passed on the link to this website that allows you to publish an Etsy treasury to a blog or website. Rather than using a screen shot to show the items, all the links are actually live!

'Euclidean Delights' by windyriver

Some serious geometry!

A Nestled Three, in Tri...

FREE SHIPPING - Green a...

Swirls Hand Embroidered...

Eclipse Vinyl Record Ne...

Dots flowers porcelain ...

Silky 1972 Black and Wh...

Le Tissu textile earrin...

Unicursal Hexagram geom...

Winter Geometry, fine a...

ROMAN HOLIDAY - set of ...

Tribal Triangles Neckla...

A Perfect Spiral - Fi...

Geometry 5x7 Darkroom P...

Crossword Puzzle - Wide...

love hurts - vintage bl...

GEOMETRY - hand-drawn t...

Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.

I thought it kind of cool, although I don't know that I'll post every treasury here to my blog. I'm not particularly diligent about updating this blog, as you may already know...

By the way, that's my Crossword Puzzle cuff there on the bottom row. :-)

If you want to use the tool, click here to be taken to the site. And just FYI, the options I chose to post this one were with 4 columns and using the "small" image size.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Whatcha Been Doin'?

If this blog is any indication, I haven't been doing anything at all. But that's just not true. I've been busy busy busy!!

Mostly I've been looking at kitchen cabinets, siding, doors, windows, bathroom cabinets, tile, flooring, roofing, and all the other things that are going to go into building our house. There are so many decisions that go into building a house that it's almost overwhelming. I'm glad we've done this before, because that definitely makes it easier. It's also made easier by the fact that my husband is a carpenter and knows how buildings are constructed; and I'm really good at visualization, so I can figure out what I want without being able to see it on paper. Even with those advantages, there are still LOTS of decisions to be made. Next week we start trekking to local building supply places to get bids.

In between figuring out all the house stuff, I've been beading. Of course. I even managed to publish a couple more peyote patterns last week.

Here are some of the beady things I've done, starting with two new peyote cuffs and two new designs:

Then there's this piece, called Root Beer and Cotton Candy, which I made as a gift. I used bead crochet to make this rope, which is long enough to be worn as a necklace or as a bracelet. The beads are vintage cola-colored transparent beads with pale mauve lined beads to create the diamond shapes that are scattered the entire length of the piece. I thought it needed a little something else, so I added a long peyote tube made from the pink beads.

I didn't just make these pieces, but I finally managed to take some pictures and get them listed in my Etsy shop:

And this piece is called Nina (which means "fire" in Quechua, a Native American language). I thought it was a fitting name for this smoke fired pendant created by Kristie Roeder (aka artisanclay). Her square donut pendant is perfectly paired with the dark rust colored Czech glass beads that have a picasso finish (from Shannon, at beadsandbabble).

I also managed, in between answering questions about cabinets (how high, how wide, what will you put in that one, what's that called, should they be staggered or flat, what door style, what color - ARGH!), to publish patterns for two of my older peyote cuff designs.

And while all those things are actually FINISHED, I was also busy working on a bunch of new things... Some Totally Tubular pendants for a local gallery, a bead crochet necklace that will feature a GIANT bead by the uber-talented Lisa Peters (aka LisaPetersArt), and some other beady goodies of all sorts. Here's a sneak preview of the big bead piece. I love this giant bead, which is almost 2" long with a delicious deep royal blue glaze!

Now it's time to get back to playing with beads. I just know I'm going to have to answer more house questions this afternoon... :-)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where Are My Glasses?

Where are they? Have you seen them? Help me look.

Even in the short amount of time I've spent with my little sister (long story, which you can read here), I heard these words several times. She has glasses, and she's notorious for putting them down somewhere and then forgetting where they are.

Well, now she has no excuse.

After I told her I couldn't locate those little rubber thingies for the ends, she gave me an old lariat she had so I could cut them off of it.

Since this will be used a LOT, I decided that bead crochet would be the way to go. It's sturdy and very flexible and comfortable to wear, and this one is pretty slim since I used only five beads around. The beads are the Czech glass picasso finish ones I like so much, this time a mixture of five or six different blends I had in my stash. Even though they're from different colorways, they blend beautifully.

And the best thing of all? She likes it! She really really likes it!

The funniest part? When she was talking to me about her new glasses holder, she needed her glasses to look at it more closely so she could check out the finishes on the beads. And she couldn't find her glasses! Where were they this time? HANGING ON HER SHIRT.

She cracks me up. (love ya, Bev!)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Bead Crochet for Any Climate

I didn't intend to do it, but over the course of about a week I wound up creating two bead crochet ropes that are climate based.

Not really. I just happened to give these pieces names that would indicate they're from different climates.

The first one is called Bonaire Blues, and I gave this piece its name because of the name of the beads - Caribbean Blues. The beads are Czech glass with a picasso finish, and they're beautiful shades of blue with a hint of green, just like an ocean reef. I've actually been lucky enough to visit Bonaire (an island in the Netherlands Antilles, which is where Aruba is) and scuba dive there. Because it's close to the equator, it's very warm there, but it's cooled by ocean breezes. The reefs are beautiful, too, with all sorts of corals and fish; and I even got to hold a seahorse in my hand on one of my dives.

Although it's shown here as a bracelet, this piece is long enough (48") to be worn as a necklace looped once or twice around.

And aren't those beads GORGEOUS?!

Just in case you're shopping for beads, these came from my friend Shannon, of beadsandbabble. She has a HUGE selection of Czech beads, lots of them with the picasso finish you see here.

The next climate-based piece was actually inspired by the recent snowstorms that hit the midwest and northeast of the United States. We used to live in Illinois, and I was following the weather updates by some of my Facebook friends. If we still lived in our house up there, I'd have been shoveling more than two feet of snow. BLECH.

It was while I was seeing all that white on the TV that I decided to make a bead crochet rope using all white beads. This piece is called Snowstorm, and it's made from three different types of white beads: opaque matte, opaque, and translucent. The pattern in the rope is very simple, with the three whites just spiraling around the rope from end to end.

I have lots of other white beads, too, so I decided to add fringe to the ends of this rope using a whole variety of glass beads. There are frosted glass, faux pearls, opaque, translucent, and cats eye in the mix, resulting in a lush fringe that's more than 3-1/2" long.

Now it's time to go outside and enjoy some of the 45-degree weather. I hope all my Illinois and Wisconsin friends are warm and safe and finished with their shoveling duties. :-)