Sunday, July 29, 2012

Here Comes the Bride...

I always thought June was the month for weddings.  But I've been busy working on some custom orders for three different brides, all of whom are getting married in early August.  It was a race against the clock for me to get all of these finished and sent off to the respective brides, but I managed to do it (even while I was busy during the day working on the fireplace in our new house).

In every case, I was asked to create one of my designs using custom colors.  The first bride ordered my Simply Stripes design in yellow and gray (I love this color combination!).

The beads used in this set are lovely frosty looking pale gray with bright silver-lined yellow.

The next order was for some custom color versions of my "Knot, Ready for Prime Time" design.  The bride asked for chocolate and taupe, and after sending several options for the beads to use she settled on a beautiful transparent chocolate brown with a matte metallic pale taupe.  She also requested a bracelet for her future mother-in-law, something that would go with a navy dress; so I used these silver-lined dark sapphire beads and paired them with galvanized silver.  These are beautiful color combos, so I'm going to be offering them as made-to-order pieces in my Etsy shop.  :-)

And finally, I was asked to make custom color versions of my Damask design using beads in the birthstone color for each bridesmaid and for the flower girl in this wedding.  For the flower girl, I adapted the design to make a narrower bracelet so it wouldn't overpower her tiny wrist.  Each bracelet was finished off with a button or two for the closure, so every one looks a bit different.  The months represented here are January (garnet with black), February (amethyst with orange), March (aquamarine with silver), June (pearl with orange), September (the one for the flower girl, sapphire and gray), and two Decembers (turquoise with coral and blue zircon with pearl).

It was really exciting to be able to work with all these brides to create something special for them.  The process involved lots of messages back and forth, with lots of pictures also going back and forth for the color choices, but I've heard from all three of the brides and they're all thrilled with their bracelets.

Now it's time to get to work on a couple more custom orders...  not for brides this time, so I'm not racing against the clock.

Oh, and the fireplace is finished!  Now we have to do the final work on retouching the finish on the beams and making sure the floor is smooth and level so the hardwood flooring can be installed on Tuesday.  Want to see pictures of the house?
Check out my Facebook photo album, building the house:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Never Too Busy To Bead

I think beads must be good for my mental health.  (And for those of you who know me personally, stop snickering.)

It's been as busy as can be around here for the past few weeks, but I've still managed to fit in a good amount of beading.  And that's a good thing, because I have so many beads just sitting there in their bins, waiting to be combined into something special.  In between working on the house, going out of town, picking out and ordering all the interior doors for the house, having house guests, going over the cabinet design for the house with the local cabinetmaker, visiting the North Carolina Arboretum, laying out the cultured stone for the fireplace, hanging out with friends in town, mowing the fledgling yard at the new house, working on custom orders for a couple of brides, and working on the house some more (!), I've actually managed to get quite a lot of beadweaving done.  Not many pictures, unfortunately, but that's a whole other matter.

I've been a member of an Etsy team, the Etsy BeadWeavers, almost since it was formed several years ago.  Every month they have a challenge, based on a theme chosen by one of the members.  Most of the time I see the theme and figure I don't have enough time to focus on doing something for it, or I just don't feel particularly inspired.  For some reason, though, the July theme of "Tangerine Tango" immediately made me think of making a freeform peyote cuff.  I haven't made one in awhile (more than a year!), so it was fun to dig through all my orange beads to come up with a collection to make this piece:  Tangerine and Mango Tango 

By the way, voting for the July theme is now open on the Etsy BeadWeavers blog.

As is the case more times than I can recount, one beadwoven piece inspires another... and another...  and sometimes another.  Over the course of a week, I managed to create FOUR freeform peyote cuffs.  Only one other has been listed in my Etsy shopMountain Sky.  The other two are awaiting photographs (along with a whole pile of other finished pieces that haven't had their pictures taken yet!).


Even with all this stuff going on, and me running around like a nut half the time, I thought it would be fun to sign up for a bead exchange.  Lori Anderson is hosting a Bead Soup Blog Party, so I joined in.  I haven't received my bead soup yet from my partner, but it should be on its way.  And that's a good thing, because my "Reveal Date" is August 11.  That means I have to receive the beads and figure out what to make with them...  and then actually make it!...  and get it photographed before that date.  Whew.  Nothing like a little pressure.  You can start blog hopping early to see some of the mixes sent and received by the other participants (there are 400 of us!).

And now...  it's time to go work on the house!  We're about halfway finished with putting up the cultured stone on the front of the fireplace, and we're hoping to have that project finished by Sunday so we can have the flooring people install the 2400 square feet of hickory flooring.  Fingers crossed.  :-)