Monday, November 21, 2011

Funky shell bracelet

My sister is fond of bright colors and lots of them.  When I saw the bright colored shell strands at Hobby Lobby, I knew I had to make her a funky bracelet out of them, and picked the perfect 70s-esque clasp to go with them, which also suits her.

Name: Funky shell bracelet

Price: $10 to $15 (custom project for my sister)

Length: approx. 8"

Sparkly multi-strand necklaces

I was searching for ideas for my sister's birthday this year, and asked her if there was anything in particular she wanted.  I gave her the FusionBeads inspiration projects page, and she sorted through and sent me the link to the Sensational Olivine Necklace.  I made it for her, but the magnetic box clasp I bought from Hobby Lobby for it (as FusionBeads' one for the project was out of stock) didn't work, so I bought an extender chain clasp for it instead.  Then I made her a bright orange one too, which goes with her quirky personality, and for the Frankfort show Dan made a lavender one since he'd helped me with the olive one for Margot's birthday.  Yet another project that's very easy to customize into any color(s) you want!



Name: Sparkly multi-strand necklace

Price: $25 each (olive and orange custom projects for my sister; tanzanite donated)

Color: olive; orange; tanzanite

Length: adjustible; ranges from 18" to 22"

Jasper and Swarovski necklace

A few years ago, I found this piece of brown zebra jasper at Von's in West Lafayette and decided to challenge myself to make a necklace with it.  It sat in my bead box for months, until I finally purchased a bunch of Swarovski crystal pearls on sale to jazz it up.  This was the result.  I recently redid it to have a better clasp.

Name: Brown Zebra Jasper necklace

Price: $25 (reason: Swarovski pearls) Donated to the Dan Bollock charity fundraiser 3-02-12

Length: 16" plus 1" pendant

Swarovski right angle weave bracelet

The moment I saw this project on FusionBeads, titled Denim, I knew I had to do it no matter how much it cost me.  Working with 4mm crystal bicones is a lot different than working with seed beads!  I love the way it turned out though, and I really love right-angle weave because it is sturdy, yet flexible, as you can see in the picture.  The bracelet took 97 beads of two colors, and 98 beads of the middle one.  I actually had to make the bracelet a little shorter than the project due to the fact that a single bicone hadn't been drilled, so I couldn't use it.  That made it impossible to finish one row, as the bicone's color was in the middle of it and there wasn't time to order another one.  The bracelet has a magnetic cylinder clasp, which was something I'd not used before either, and I really like it.  One of the great things about right-angle weave projects is they can be customized into any color mix you want!

Name: Swarovski right angle weave bracelet

Price:  $35 (reason: tons of Swarovski crystals, time, and effort used; personal collection)

Color: 3 shades of blue

Length: 7.5" long, 1" wide

Right angle weave bracelets

Over the past few days, I've gotten three right-angle weave bracelets done.  Starting the pattern is a bit of a challenge, but once you're to the repetitive part it goes really fast.  Ironically, the first one I started was the last one I finished (the night before the Frankfort show) because a bead broke and I had to take a bunch out to fix it.  My thread wasn't coming out even, so I gave it up and started the purple one I posted months ago.  In between, I did a forest green one.  All three were inspired by a project on FusionBeads, using peanut-shaped seed beads.  Now that I've got the pattern down with the supplies they used, I'm going to try different beads and see what happens.  The picture really doesn't do the colors justice.  The pattern is so easy to adjust into different colors I could probably do just about anything anybody could want.

Name: Right angle weave bracelet

Price:  $15 each (reason: time and effort used; purple sold to Donna V.)

Color: blue iris (top); purple iris (left); forest green iris (right)

Length: approx. 8"; can be made to suit

Multi-strand spiral necklace

This is one of the two multi-strand seed bead necklaces I did for the Frankfort show.  The other one, done in autumn colors, I didn't get a good picture of before it sold, though I will be posting another when I have the time here.  Each strand (there are 7 per necklace) is hand-strung with the colors randomly, using size 10 and size 8 seed beads--which took a loooooong time given the length.  I then put bead cones over the ends and twisted the strands so they formed a loose spiral necklace rather than leave each free like other multi-strand necklaces I've done.  They were a looooot of work, but well worth it!  For the Frankfort show, I also made matching memory wire bracelets, which sold quickly; copies will be under my 6-loop memory wire bracelet post when I have the time.  This style is great if I use mixed bags of colors, or wanted to do strands of different colors, or what have you.

Name: Multi-strand spiral necklace

Price: $25 (reason: time and effort used) each

Colors: Mardi-gras mix; autumn mix (didn't get a picture of, sorry!)

Length: 22"

Yellow jade necklace

This necklace is one I did for Mom.  I had made her a yellow and gray pearl necklace to go with a skirt she had, but the yellow was too bright.  She liked the clasp, though, and I reused it for this piece for her as a replacement.  Yellow jade is hard to find (I usually come across lemon or honey jade), but I located some 6mm yellow jade on FusionBeads.  Mom wanted me to do the simple sterling dividing beads with it the way I'd done her watermelon tourmaline necklace, so this was the result.  She likes her necklaces long, too, which I kept in mind.

Name: Yellow jade necklace

Price: $30 to $35 (custom project for my Mom)

Length: approx 22"

Yellow jade illusion necklace

I'm a growing fan of yellow jade.  I like it far better than lemon jade, which has a greenish cast to it, or honey jade, with an orange cast.  Yellow jade is a soft, buttery yellow, which has made it popular with my Mom.  This necklace is actually a was originally done years ago on stretchy string, which made it difficult to keep from tangling.  I redid it for the Frankfort show on fishing line, and made it longer (it used to be about 18").  I used yellow jade cubes, white rice pearls, and seed beads.

Name: Yellow Jade Illusion Necklace

Price: $10 (materials, time, effort)

Length: 22" necklace, 3" dangle

Blue lace agate necklace

I made this necklace a few months ago and have gone back and forth about whether or not to keep it.  I really like the subtle patterns of blue lace agate and absolutely love the pendant.  Blue lace agate ranges from frosty blue to sky blue to almost white.  I collect polished stones, and one of the first six I ever got--purchased at Von's by Dad for me on my first visit when I was at the most 8 years old, 6 for $.50--was a blue lace agate wedge (the others were carnelian, quartz, rose quartz, aventurine, and amethyst, and started my tradition of purchasing stones on special trips).  I got quite nostalgic while working on this piece.


Name: Blue lace agate necklace

Price: $25 (reason: amount of stone used)

Length: approx. 20"

Blue lace agate earrings

I made this pair of earrings a little over a year ago.  I like them because they have a Celtic feel to their appearance, and I've always been a fan of the subtle patterns in blue lace agate.  They were originally made for my Mom, who really liked the silver bangle when I made my sister her yellow Swarovski wire-wrapped earrings for Christmas, but they just wound up too big for her taste when I showed them to her.  The rounds are 6mm and 4mm.

Name: Blue lace agate earrings

Price: $10 (reason: bangle pricing)

Length: 1.5"

6-loop memory wire bracelets

I made a bunch of 6-loop memory wire bracelets for the Frankfort show, and they were easily my bestseller.  When I have more time, I will post the different patterns and varieties in this same post, as all non-fancy 6-loop bracelets will cost the same amount.

Name: 6-loop memory wire bracelet

Price: $8 each

Color: blue/purple/pink; mardi-gras; greens; autumn; lavender bugle; blues; as requested

Length: 6-loops

Peridot Necklace

Just noticed the peridot necklace wasn't posted...could've sworn I uploaded it with my last series of posts.  Anyway, I don't work a lot with gold; silver seems to go so much better with more things.  But I'd always kinda wanted to do a necklace with the soft beauty of pale yellow-green peridot, and I knew if I did it would have to be with gold.  The two just seem to go together.  The peridot beads are tiny!  They're 3mm rounds, divided by gold-filled metal beads.  I like how it turned out, despite its simplicity.

Name: Peridot necklace

Price: $25 (reason: peridot is fairly expensive, as are gold supplies)

Length: 20"

Peridot Earrings

This is another pair of earrings I took to the Frankfort show.  I made them as companion pieces for the peridot necklace I did earlier.  These earrings are tiny!  The peridot rounds are only 3mm, with gold-filled rounds above and below, and on gold-filled wire and earwires.  The entire earring, from height of earwire to tip of dangle is a little less than 1".  I was worried about losing them before I even got them to the show and I think they were too small to be noticed on my table.

Name: Peridot earrings

Price: $8 (reason: gold-filled wire)

Length: less than 1" total

Aventurine Earrings

I don't do a lot of earrings yet, as I'm not comfortable enough with my skill at them, but this is a pair I took to the First Baptist Church craft show in Frankfort November 19th.  I made them to go with the aventurine cross-weave necklace I did a while ago.  They are 6mm aventurine beads with size 15 seed beads on sterling silver.  Very simple.

Name: Aventurine Earrings

Price: $10 (reason: sterling silver)

Length: approx. 1" from tip of dangle to height of ear wire loop

First Baptist Church in Frankfort Craft Show

Saturday, November 19th, found my sister and me at the craft show held by First Baptist Church in Frankfort from about 8:30 to about 2:30, hoping to sell some of our work.  My sister, the photographer who has the blog and business Whimsicals by Margot, took a bunch of her beautiful photographs as 8x10s and several calendars.  We shared a table.  As this was our first show, we didn't expect to sell a lot, and we didn't--most of the booths there were more crafty things than artsy; we probably would've sold more had we been at an art show.  I sold three necklaces, four memory wire bracelets, two pairs of earrings, and got custom orders for another necklace and pair of earrings.  My sister sold most of her calendars.  One of the necklaces I sold Dan made--a big square Paua shell pendant strung on two strands of apatite, broken up with blue shell 6mm and 3mm sterling beads I didn't get a good picture of since my camera died.  Below is a picture of the pieces I took to the show.  Just above the Paua shell necklace is a spiral multi-strand seed bead necklace in autumn colors that also sold.  This was taken at about 2am show day, while Dan was finishing the copper Dutch Spiral bracelet, and right before my camera died.

Copper Dutch Spiral Bracelet

Two days before the Frankfort show, my boyfriend Dan was helping me with some final project finish-up by working on a second Dutch Spiral bracelet.  He'd chosen vivid dark red twisted bugle beads that were longer than what we usually use, and had made it all the way to the clasp, only he forgot to add a piece and would have had to take the entire thing apart and start over.  I told him not to worry about it and just start on a different one so he wouldn't want to throw the redo out the window, so the night before the show he started in on this beauty.  Again, he picked out the beads himself from one of the sites I recommended to him, and he finished it at 2am on show day.  I think it's one of my all-time favorite pieces.  This and his aqua version were the talk of the Frankfort show.  He's just purchased more of the copper bugles with the intention of making me a choker to match.  Isn't it beautiful?

Name: Copper Dutch Spiral Bracelet

Price: $15 (note: instead of Swarovski bicones, he used sterling silver stardust 6mm rounds)

Length: approx. 9"

Aqua Dutch Spiral Bracelet

And here is the finished product: Dan's first Dutch Spiral bracelet!  He used aqua twisted bugle beads and silver metal seed beads, aqua Swarovski bicones, and a silver leaf clasp I had in my findings box.  It was the talk of the Frankfort show!

Name: Aqua Dutch Spiral bracelet

Price: $15 (turned into a gift for Dan's grandma for Christmas, 2011)

Length: approx. 9.5"

Dan's first major project!

Like I've said before, my boyfriend has discovered he likes to assist me with jewelry projects.  With the Frankfort show approaching (was the 19th), he asked if there was anything else he could pitch in and do while I scrambled with a bunch of pieces and was also working my hiney off with this year's National Novel Writing Month quotas (more on that on my writing blog).  I told him I would teach him the Dutch spiral if he wanted, and he liked my Twisted Sister version so much he agreed.  We went to one of the local stores and he picked out the supplies himself, then, after a confusing start--which happened to me when I first learned, too--off he went.  I had to document the event for posterity.  And, in his defense, he does a wonderful job!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Moss agate illusion necklace

And last but not least this evening is another older illusion necklace, done about the same time as my tiger's eye one.  I love moss agate for its delicate color patterns that make each piece different.  The first piece I owned was a triangular tumbled stone Charlie, a man who helped instruct a lapidary class I took at an old school in West Lafayette while Mom did pottery down the hall, gave me out of his supply box.  I never made it into anything, but it's still in my tumbled stone bowl on my shelf here at home.  Charlie was a wonderful man, and always had something for me to work with he "didn't want" anymore, as I was the extreme youngster of the group.  I think he and his wife adopted me during those weeks.  I still have several pieces of things I never got to work with--including a piece of stone with tiny emeralds in it, a beautiful slice of green goldstone, a piece of red obsidian, and the remains of a spectacular piece of gold tiger's eye with which he taught me how to tell tiger eye quality, and from which I made my first soldered necklace.  I wish the pendant of this piece could have been made from the piece of moss agate Charlie gave me, but the classes were cut due to few new members and budget costs.  I had to content myself with finding this beautiful pendant at Von's in West Lafayette, just around the block from Morton Center where I learned silverwork and cutting stones and spent wonderful evenings with Charlie, his wife Ruth, and good ol' storyteller Cliff.  I used seed beads and hematite rice along with the pendant.  I believe, actually, this might have ben tagged "seaweed agate" or "seaweed quartz," though I'm pretty sure I looked through the entire bin of moss agate looking for one with a lot of color and unique pattern personality.  I could be wrong, but then it wouldn't fit my story very well...

Name:  Forest Memories

Price:  $15 (personal collection)

Length:  17"

Dual-strand black necklace

I house-sit from time to time for my sister and brother-in-law.  One weekend I was staying there and realize I'd forgotten to pack something to wear for church on Sunday, so I rushed out to Wal-mart, which was just down the street, and bought a nice new pair of black jeans, a new shirt, and a shawl to wear.  I'd remembered to bring my beading supplies, since I was working on Christmas presents for my sister at the time, and decided I needed a new necklace, set of earrings, and a bracelet as well.  To go with the color of my outfit I used black and silver seed beads and hematite rice.  Ironic thing is, I wore the set a lot and the bracelet, which was a little big, slid off my wrist while I was having lunch at Noodles with friends after church another week.  When I went back to look for it that evening and asked if it had been turned in, I learned no one had; apparently whoever found it liked it enough to keep it.  I was (and still am) irked that it wasn't turned in like it should've been, but I guess I should content myself with the fact someone liked it enough to keep it.  Again, pictures aren't very good.

Name:  N/A

Price:  $15 (personal collection)

Length:  16" and 17"

Tiger's Eye illusion necklace

Since it's been raining the last few days and I've been too busy to work on new pieces or get pictures in decent light, I decided to post another of my personal collection pieces.  The lighting in the photo stinks, apologies.  I love tiger's eye and hematite.  They're possibly my very favoritest stones...except for seraphanite.  Up there, too, are watermelon tourmaline, ruby (my birthstone), opal, mystic topaz and tanzanite.  I have other favorites, but not gonna list everything (list isn't that long, though).  This necklace was done a long time ago.  I used gold tiger's eye rounds, hematite, and blackstone.  The pendant is actually twisted, which is hard to tell in the photo.

Name:  N/A

Price:  $15 (personal collection)

Length:  17"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Aventurine Foliage Cross-weave necklace

This past week my boyfriend Dan bought me a new book on different beading techniques I've passed up "at least five times" while we were browsing at one of the local bead shops.  A couple of nights later my computer crashed, so I plugged in my old CD player, popped in my Sherlock Holmes and Clash of the Titans and G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra movie scores one after the other while I learned how to cross-weave a necklace.  I got lucky and had a nice large aventurine pendant and 6mm aventurine rounds, and tiny size 15 seed beads.  I also had a large, sturdy clasp that suits the soft green leaf colors perfectly.  I really like how it turned out, though the style and size of the beads are far too large for me to wear.  The necklace is relatively heavy given the amount of stone involved!

Name:  Aventurine Foliage

Price:  $35 (reason: tons of aventurine and a fancy clasp) Donated to the Dan Bollock charity fundraiser 3-02-12

Length:  18"; pendant is approximately 1.5" x 1.5"

Blue Swirl necklace

When I saw this fancy-glass pendant, I knew I had to make my sister a necklace to go with it.  It isn't a very creative piece as far as style, but I like how it turned out and better yet so did she.  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  Swirl

Price:  $10 (custom project for my sister)

Length:  17" to 18"

Wire-Wrapped Earrings

This pair of wire-wrapped earrings I changed the color of the Swarovski crystals from the original pattern while making them for my sister.  I went back today to the FusionBeads inspiration section to see if I could get the name of the project (which I can't for the life of me remember), and the earrings are no longer there. Originally, the crystals were purple tones, but I knew my sister's favorite color was yellow, so I hunted around for a bit to get the bright-to-pale yellow matchup instead of the purple.  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  can't remember

Price:  $25 (custom project for my sister)

Length:  2" approximately

Donut Pendant necklace

My sister likes big, unique pendants, and this one I found on JewelrySupply fit the bill.  I simply strung it, then added some of my gold tiger's eye and blackstone for a little accent.  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  N/A

Price:  $15 (custom project for my sister)

Length:  can't remember...probably about 18"

Swish Earrings

Last year for Christmas, my sister asked me if I could make her earrings.  I've never thought of earrings as my strong point, but I wanted to make her something she asked for, so I hunted around on FusionBeads in their inspiration section for ideas.  These earrings, called Swish on the site, fit the bill.  They involved a new technique for me: wire wrapping.  It took a few tries to figure out how to make the wrapping part look okay (I'm still not what I would call great at it yet, but I'm getting there), but they were a lot of fun to learn.  It was also one of my first uses of Swarovski crystals.  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  Swish

Price:  $25 (custom project for my sister)

Length: about 2"

Prices and Contact Info Update

I have heard from several people my prices, which are in American dollars, are showing up on their computers as being in another currency.  The other numbers I put in (such as lengths in inches) are also being messed up.  We have, after some experimentation, figured out what the deal is: I use Internet Explorer or Safari to do my blog posts.  The ones seeing the different currency are using FireFox.  If you have FireFox, sorry about this; it's not something I can change--either try Internet Explorer or Safari if you have them.
I've got a general estimate on shipping costs now: $3.  This includes insurance.  The cost will cover a 75 cent bubbled envelope, postage, and insurance.
Contact information:  again, it's updated and public on my About Me profile page.  But here it is as well:  Put the name of the piece you're interested in on the subject heading line.
If you see something you like but want a different color or length, feel free to contact me.  Some things I can change like that.  Some will cost a little more for an increase in length or other adjustments that take a little more time (going from a 14-inch necklace to a 16-inch, for example, depending on materials, raises the price about $2).
Any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Funky necklace

I have an attraction to neat fancy glass bead patterns, and this necklace for my sister was no exception.  Given she likes 70s and/or Bohemian stuff, the orange, lime, and black of this necklace were perfect for her.  Unfortunately, it also limits what she can wear it with.  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.  Check out her blog!

Name:  Funky Necklace

Price:  $20 (reason: fancy glass and cat's eye prices; custom project for my sister)

Length:  17" to 18"

Mardi-Gras Pearls necklace

Every now and then I like to do something using really good quality materials.  Finding really good pearls is an expensive journey!  For my sister's birthday in 2009, I made her a simple pearl necklace using really beautiful plum, teal, and yellow rounds.  Then I hunted up an equally neat clasp that had butterflies on it--one of her favorite things.  She says the pearls remind her of Mardi-Gras beads given how vivid their colors.  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  Mardi-Gras Pearls

Price:  $35 to $40 (reason: good quality pearls; custom project for my sister)

Length:  18" (I think)

Multi-strand Abalone necklace

I got the idea for this necklace while planning Christmas projects last year.  I was browsing at Hobby Lobby and came across this beautiful abalone pendant and it screamed my sister's name, so, naturally, I had to take it home and figure out what it wanted to be.  We settled on a multi-strand, multi-color seed bead necklace with varying sizes, each color of which drew out the colors in the pendant.  She wears it with almost everything and it's one of her favorites to date.  Images (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  N/A

Price:  $15 to $20 (custom project for my sister)

Length:  can't remember; probably about 18"

Bohemian Sunburst necklace

My sister likes all things 70s and/or Bohemian, so when I saw this pendant while perusing the goods at, I knew I had to make something with it for her.  I wanted to keep it simple, so I just added a jump ring and strung it on some plain brown ribbon.  She was kind enough to photograph it for me.  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  Bohemian Sunburst

Price:  $15 (custom project for my sister)

Length:  varies, adjustable ribbon

Funky Ring

I don't usually do rings.  This was a first for me this summer in preparation for my sister's birthday.  I wanted to do something really funky and this ring project fit the bill.  How much more fitting can I get with the Groovy Swarovski crystal mix from FusionBeads, wire-wrapped onto a vine ring?  She absolutely loved it, and was awesome enough to take the photo for me!  Image (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.  Check out her blog!

Name:  Funky!

Price:  $30 (reason: Swarovski crystals; custom project for my sister)

Size:  size 5 ring

Berrylicious Earrings

My sister, photographer of, loves funky jewelry, so I do my best to make some very unique pieces for her.  The moment I saw these earrings as a project on FusionBeads, I knew I had to try it for her for Christmas this past year.  I learned the "covering a component" wire technique and it was pretty much the first time I'd worked with Swarovski crystals.  The project was called Berry Patch and featured just the earrings, but I went ahead and also made her a pendant identical to them. The crystals mix is called Berrylicious, and suited her personality to a T.  She was also awesome enough to do the photograph for me!  It is (c) to Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot.

Name:  Berry Patch

Price:  $35 to $40 (reason: Swarovski crystals; custom project for my sister)

Length: 3"

Touch of Fall memory wire bracelet

My boyfriend Dan is really getting the hang of memory wire.  While I was working on Evening Twilight, he asked if he could play with more memory wire and made this piece.  It reminds me a bit of spring and Easter, really, with the pink in it, but it definitely can add a splash of color to a fall outfit as well.

Name:  Touch of Fall

Price:  $8 (turned into gift to a friend from Donna V.)

Length:  6 loops

Evening Twilight bracelet

I've been experimenting with a variety of new techniques lately, and this is one of those I've managed to finish and get pictures of while it's still light out.  This is the first right-angle-weave bracelet I've finished (have another one started that I have to redo do to a bead breaking), and I really like the end result.  It was inspired by a FusionBeads project Night in Alaska and their handy-dandy tutorial for right-angle-weave.

Name:  Evening Twilight

Price:  $14 (reason: time spent on intricacy of piece; turned into Christmas gift from Donna V. to a friend)

Length:  about 8"