Monday, January 23, 2012

New Contact and About Me Pages!

As you may have noticed, I discovered how to make more pages for my blog.  Along the top of the page is a bar with my blog, about me, and contact info links.  This should make things a lot simpler!

Woven Flower Bracelet.

I learned a new design over the weekend...or, rather, roughly three that combine into one project.  My Mom got me two new beading books for Christmas, and this is the second piece I've tried out of one of them; the other is a beaded chain lariat necklace I still need supplies to finish.  I wanted a little more of a challenge, so I went ahead and got the elements to do this bracelet rather than finish the lariat for the time being.  Everything went smoothly, up until the last decorative tendril.  Then I broke two needles and a bead and had to refasten a leaf and the two tendrils on that side to another bead in the pattern since the bead that broke was the one all of them were connected to (figures!).  I put a lot of work into this!

Name: Winter Rose Bracelet

Price: $20 (time and materials involved; personal collection)

Length: about 5 3/4 "

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Flower Ring

I made this ring for my sister for Christmas this year.  I didn't have a lot of money as I've been on seasonal lay-off from the greenhouse where I work, but I wanted to make her at least something jewelry since that's all she ever really wants from me.  She also loves bright colors and funky rings, so this was a no-brainer.  I used bright orange 6mm flowers, 4mm Swarovski rounds in blue zircon, and 6mm Swarovski rounds in capri blue.  As with the last ring I made her, I wire-wrapped the beads onto a three-loop ring, this one a size 6 since I couldn't find a size 5.  When the ring was done, I taped it as the "bow" on a little owl notepad I'd found (she likes goofy owls, too).  Both were a big hit.  Photograph copyright (c) Margot Roudebush and Whimsicals by Margot (

Name: Bright Flower Ring

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

Length: size 6 ring

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Green Ice Bracelet.

So I tried a new technique today: wrapped cord.  I had some pretty icy green-teal potato pearls and have been wanting to do something neat with them for a while, and have wanted to try this technique but hadn't had the time.  I was fortunate I had all the materials for it; lately I've wanted to try new things and am missing just enough I can't finish.
One of the things the project required was a button.  My Mom has tons of buttons, but out of probably millions there was only one that matched.  And it's perfect!
I named the bracelet Green Ice because of the freezing, blowy weather that kept me trapped inside today.

Name:  Green Ice

Price: $15 (reason: time and effort involved, plus pearls; personal collection)

Length:  about 9" including button

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Twisted tubular herringbone bangle bracelet.

Five episodes of Planet Earth plus the "making of" diaries after each later...
I got the twisted tubular herringbone bangle done!  I couldn't finish it the way the book said because I couldn't seem to get the bottom two rows (the starter rows) unwoven from the piece, so I had to make do with a slightly uneven connection.  Good news is, if you don't know exactly where it is, you can't see it.  The piece as a whole took me longer than I thought...I watched the entire Planet Earth season and all the diaries; each episode is an hour or so long, plus a fifteen minute or so diary.  There are 11 episodes.  Now that I've got the hang of it, however, it shouldn't take that long again.
Frustration: I was sewing the ends together and was nearly done when I dropped the piece and it yanked the needle.  I instinctively locked my fingers, which bent the needle too far and broke it.  That was my last needle.  Now I absolutely have to order a new card of them, unless there's one in the bag of leftover floss and pattern for the cross stitch sampler I made Mom for Christmas...

Name:  Twisted herringbone bracelet

Price:  $15 to $20 (it would depend on number of colors used, size, bead type)

Length:  about 8" circumference

A current project.

I've learned a new technique over the last couple of days out of the book my boyfriend Dan bought me: the tubular twisted herringbone stitch.  The book was a little vague at step 4, which is where the tube starts working upwards, so I had to experiment a few times.  I finally got it to work, and intended to finish it for a dinner Dan and I had last night (this is going to be a bangle bracelet that ties into itself so no clasp), but then I broke my last needle.  I had been running low on needles before the show in November and had bought more from my usual source, but broke all but one in a matter of hours.  This needle was the last one of those--hadn't been used before yesterday.  It snapped within two hours.  I've never gotten a bad batch before.  Fortunately, I found the last of the previous card of needles this morning, so hopefully by the end of the day I'll have the bangle done.

Very simple cherry quartz illusion necklace.

As I said in the last post, I have very little by the way of pink in my supplies.  This is a very simple two-strand illusion necklace using tiny cherry quartz rounds on fishing line.  I had a hard time spacing the pieces evenly, but it turned out okay.  The pictures did too, despite the cloudy weather!

Name:  Simplicity illusion necklace

Price:  $10 (reason: time and effort involved) this necklace has been returned to my bead box

Length:  22"

Monday, January 9, 2012

Soft pink sparkle illusion necklace.

Project of the day: the first of several new illusion necklace ideas I've been toying with.  I had intended to get three different styles done today, but given I was doing a variety of other things as well that didn't we'll have to settle for one.  A friend of mine has been asking me to make a pink illusion necklace for a few months, but time and inspiration have been against me until recently.  Her only stipulation at the time was "no purple," and yesterday she mentioned she was looking for something "light pink."  Given I'm not a pink person per se, I rummaged through my bead boxes to see what "light pink" I might actually have.  Answer: not a lot.  Fortunately, there was just enough to make this necklace.  Yes, the pictures stink.  I was losing light given it took me longer than I thought to make it and my camera doesn't like focusing in good light, let alone fading.  I like the way it turned out!  Normally there's something I don't like about my illusion necklaces (they're hard to make even!).
I used pink Swarovski bicones and butterflies, rose fire polished glass, pink pearls, cherry quartz, pink faceted rondelles, and white pearl seed beads, fishing line for strength and durability, and a toggle clasp.  I used three strands (usual for me).  Usually, I space my beads more, but this design needed more since many of my beads were small--between 3mm and 6mm.
Note 1/11/12: NEW PHOTOS!

Name:  Soft Sparkle

Price:  $20 (Swarovski crystals, time and detail involved; was a custom project for Dawn H.)

Length:  20.5"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I apologize for the few updates I've done lately.  The verdict on my beloved Alienware computer was a death sentence: the mother board blew, so it'd be cheaper to save and buy a new computer altogether than replace it.  As such, I am very limited on access to a computer with internet access.
Hopefully I can get some more pieces done, photographed, and posted before long; I got two new beading books from my Mom for Christmas to try.
Some projects already on my list besides the new techniques are a couple of pink illusion necklaces and a dark teal one to play with styles and colors.  Hopefully I can get those done in the next week or so if my approaching cold doesn't drain my creativity; last time I got a head cold my creativity shot through the roof.
I will be using materials I already have as my funds are all going toward my car payments.
Again, if you see something you're interested in, e-mail me at, and put the name of the piece(s) in the subject heading.
And, for an "awww" moment, here's my "assistant" Cassie, doing what she seems to do best.

Water droplet necklace and earrings.

As Christmas approached, my boyfriend's mother came to me with a series of custom orders for people she knows.  Most were simple to fill--6-loop memory wire bracelets in a variety of colors, befitting the personalities of the women to whom they were to be given, the already-done aqua Dutch Spiral bracelet Dan had made, and the already-done set of aquamarine Swarovski earrings and necklace.  She decided she wanted to give a bigger gift to Dan's grandma, so asked me to make another Swarovski necklace and earrings set, but instead of the more expensive sterling asked me to find something suitable in base metal.  So, with Dan peering over my shoulder to offer his suggestions as far as chain style and pendant size and shape (the color had to be aquamarine, to match the Dutch Spiral bracelet), I roved my favorite online stores and we decided on the water-drop shaped Swarovski briolette.  Though the earrings look like they're done in gold, they aren't--they're silver-plated base metal.

Name: Water droplets

Price: necklace for $15, earrings for $5 (if use base metal); $25 and $10 (if sterling); (was a custom project for Donna V.)

Length: Necklace is 18"; earrings at most 1"

Swarovski heart earrings.

This Christmas saw some unexpected and hard family circumstances.  To help offer a little cheer to my Aunt, I gave her these earrings that match the custom necklace I did for her.  Again, the "light vitrail" hearts, and sterling silver.

Name: Sparkling Innocence earrings

Price: $10 (as sterling silver and Swarovski; was a custom project for my aunt)

Length: about an inch at most

Swarovski heart custom necklace.

At the show I did back in November with my sister, my Aunt really liked the small Swarovski pendants I had on sterling silver necklaces, but didn't really want ice-blue or black.  She also likes hearts, and teased me that I hadn't made my Innocence of the Heart necklace available for her to buy.  That necklace is a very short choker for me, and the pendant is huge, but my Aunt really liked the colors--pale pink, crystal, and blue--in it as well as the idea of having a heart pendant.  She also liked the sparkle of the Swarovski crystals, so I told her I thought I could get her the same colors if I could find a heart in the "light vitrail" color.  I got lucky: they had it in multiple sizes, so I ordered one that was roughly the same size as the rectangle ones at the show.  The problems began then: the jump rings weren't the right sizes, and when I ordered bigger ones they didn't fit since the hole drilled through the pendant was flat instead of curved.  After searching (and not finding) a wirework technique suited to the direction of the hole, or a technique I could adapt that I felt I could do decently since I'm still learning wirework, I ordered a smaller pendant to fit the jump rings I had to simplify things.  That worked out remarkably well: my Aunt likes smaller pendants, anyway.  It is very difficult to get a decent photo of a Swarovski!  My camera doesn't like to focus on them, so my shots with decent lighting were all fuzzy.  This darker one doesn't show the blue--it looks orange, and the pastel pink looks like raspberry.  Go figure.

Name:  Sparkling Innocence

Price:  $25 (was custom project for my aunt)

Length: 18"

Seed bead earrings

This pair of earrings was a custom order for someone to give as a Christmas gift, made to go with a memory wire bracelet and a twisted multi-strand necklace in the same colors.  I'm still learning seed bead earring techniques, so didn't want to do my usual fairly-tacky loops, and managed to find a pair of metal jump rings I'd had lying around waiting to be used and simply strung the seed beads on them and through the ear wires.  Turned out pretty well.

Name:  N/A

Price: $8 (were a custom project for Donna V.)

Length: dime to penny size in circumference...didn't measure before I delivered them.

Dan's Mom's Christmas present

Since it's now safe again to post (some I didn't want to risk due to them being gifts for people), and I currently have access to a computer...
First up: Dan made this necklace for his Mom for Christmas and chose all of the beads himself when we hit JoAnn's late Black Friday evening.  He did everything himself.  She absolutely loved it.