Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Vine bracelet

Made this with my Aunt in mind today.  She had a very rough day and I was her pep talker.  I thought about her all day, and kept thinking about these beautiful amethyst nuggets I had waiting for a special project.  I came home after work with the intent to use them...only I had no idea for what, which has happened multiple times.  Then, just as I'm getting ready for bed due to a freakishly early morning at work tomorrow, inspiration hit and this is the result.

Name:  Spring Vine

Price:  $15

Length:  almost 8 inches

Candied Apples and Orange Peel

Another cane glass project; was trying to clean out the remains of my stash tonight.  Projects like this let me think about other things while I work, and today was one of those days I needed that.  As this bracelet came together, the red-orange crystal bicones reminded me of candied apple slices I used to get at Shoney's as a kid (a chain now out of business).  I thought they contrasted well with the handblown cane glass, and they actually match the red stripes on them.  Also used silver rounds.


Name:  Candied Apples and Orange Peel

Price:  $15 (reason: cane glass prices)

Length:  7.5 inches

Oranges n' Lemons

This necklace is named after my rose, Orange N' Lemons, given the color scheme.  I used up some handblown cane glass, the last of my fire opal Swarovski bicones, yellow-orange rondelles, and flat yellow Czech glass rondelles with gold metal seed beads.  Bright and cheery, and even a little bit refreshing to look at.  I don't do much with crystal (or sparkle), and strangely enough I don't do much with fire tones like these despite the fact that I'm drawn to them.


Name:  Oranges N' Lemons

Price:  $25 (reason: cost of cane glass and Swarovskis)

Length:  about 19 inches

Friday, April 18, 2014

Springtime Murano

What a battle to get this done!  I bought this really nice green, silver, and gold Murano leaf pendant years ago (another "finally done" project!), and it's been sitting in my bead box ever since.  I've tried a variety of techniques with it, but none worked until I decided to simply multi-strand it using a mix of gold, brown, and green.
First I fought to get all five strands the same beaded length.  That done, I then battled to get the bead cone and crimp cover on one end; the holes were too small for five steel strands, even at the thin diameter I use.  Got one side set, and started on the other, wrestled for fifteen minutes, then discovered the pendant hole was just too small for the widest part of the cone to go through.  Being glass, I didn't want to force the issue (a good hard yank might've done it).  So I had to undo 15 minutes of work by pulling the cone and crimp cover back off, stringing the pendant, then another 15 minutes to put them back on.
All figured, this took two days to do.
Note: the colors in the pendant look washed out in the photo, but the greens and golds match in both pendant an beads.


Name:  Springtime Murano

Price:  $30 (reason: time and effort mostly; Murano foiled glass isn't entirely cheap, either)

Length:  about 20 inches; pendant is 2.5 inches tall

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hello, Kitty!

On our Bead Day, my "niece" really, really wanted me to have one of her two Hello Kitty charms.  I've spent the last two weeks trying to decide what to do with it.  I finally settled on using the corally-bubblegum pink freshwater pearls I bought during our outing, some butter yellow freshwater pearls purchased a year ago from the same place, and some silver metal seed beads to make a charmed memory wire bracelet.  I'll have to wear it Easter Sunday when she visits for dinner so she can see it.

Name:  Hello, Kitty!

Price:  $15 (personal collection; not for sale)

Length:  4 loops

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shades of Gray

I've had this Crazy Lace Agate donut pendant for even longer than my Dragon and Phoenix.  I remember purchasing it when I was housesitting for my sister one fall.  I originally braided some thread and just wore it around my neck that way, but I was never really happy with it.  So I set it asid in my bead box for years, never quite finding anything that really worked with it.  Finally, one of the sites I use for supplies got in some rounds that matched it (a lot of crazy lace agate has a brown cast to it, but my donut is entirely shades of gray), so I bought a strand thinking it was 16" like most strands are and some gunmetal gray wire.  Turns out the strand of beads was only 8" so I had to get even more creative with my wirework for the necklace to be a decent length.  I chose the link style I made because it looked vaguely Celtic.  I used up my remaining silver wire for contrast, and the rest is done in the gunmetal.  Also made my first S-shaped clasp.  Very different from what I usually do, but I really like it.

Name:  Shades of Gray

Price: $40 (reason: wirework)

Length:  18 inches

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Misaligned Malachite

Perfectionist that I am, I'm debating redoing the interior strand so the beads line up with the voids on the outer strand of this necklace.  Malachite is a rather expensive stone to get good quality, so I've been collecting it over a couple of years for a project and last night I finally got the inspiration of what it would look like.  I handmade the bail for the donut, and carefully measured where each beaded section would be on the two strands, then crimped them in place.  I accented just a little with some silver.  I made a "visible" illusion necklace, since that seems to be a growing fad--instead of clear fishing line, I used the usual protected steel cable I use for stringing.

Name:  Misaligned Malachite

Price: $40 (reason: malachite prices)

Length: outer strand 21 inches, inner about 19 inches

The Dragon and the Phoenix

I have had this dragon and phoenix pendant for years now, but never found stone that went well enough with it to make a necklace from it until two weeks ago.  The seller I bought it from claimed it was "multicolor jade" but when I got it the patterning of the stone is clearly multicolor moss agate.  I went to my favorite store looking for something to go with it and had almost given up when one of the girls working there got an idea and brought out some very flawed sodalite rounds.  Given the pendant is mostly green and brown I was rather skeptical about using the blue, but it worked when we held them up to each other. There was enough brown flaw in the stones to ease the blue tinge, unlike any of the green we'd tried.  I discovered when I got home that I hadn't actually purchased sodalite, but the strand I'd chosen (which I chose because it had a lot more of the brown in it instead of the vivid white-lined blue common to the stone) was actually sapphire.  I matched it with some antique copper to draw out the brown.
I absolutely love the way it turned out.  Glad this is now a finished piece in my personal collection!


Name:  Dragon and Phoenix

Price:  $20 (personal collection; not for sale!)

Length: 16 inches

Blue Butterflies

This is the second piece I (mostly) got done during Bead Day with my niece.  I thought the wire-wrap links looked a bit like butterflies, as did the colors I used.  I've mostly stuck with silver wire for projects as it's readily available, but decided to play with some blue I had (also have green and orange).  It was fun experimenting.  And it turned into a decent bracelet.

Name:  Blue Butterflies

Price:  $15

Length:  about 8.5 inches

Memory Wire necklace

I made this about two weeks ago.  I've had some memory wire for necklaces for quite a few years, but never really played with it until this.  I also hadn't played with one of my favorite stones, Tiger Eye, in a long while, either.  This was the result.

Name:  Tiger Eye Memory Wire

Price:  $10

Length:  adjustable

Spring Fling

Made this quick and easy ribbon-strung necklace the other day just for the heck of it since I felt "springy".  Hand dyed silk ribbon, etched shell pendant, and a brass jump ring.

Name:  Spring Fling

Price:  $30

Length: adjustable; on a three-foot ribbon

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fiery Swarovski necklace

I made this today after an early afternoon of housework.  Three different Swarovski bicone colors, antique brass rounds and findings, and gold spacers.  I thought I'd ordered antique brass spacers, but I guess not.  I like the color contrasts between the bright gold and the brass, though.

Name:  Firesong

Price:  $30

Length:  19.25 inches

Pearl and sparkle bracelet

So yesterday I finally got to have my Bead Day with my seven-year-old niece.  We've been trying to arrange it since Thanksgiving, but weather and schedules never quite worked out.  I picked her up and took her to Von's (my favorite store in the whole world) where we did some shopping, then drove out to my parents' to use their large upstairs room to spread all of the supplies I'd brought home, Aubrey's, and my sister's out to play.  Aubrey got three projects done: two bracelets and a necklace.  I only got one and a half done--this metallic gray-blue pearl and faceted transparent rondelle bracelet done with antique brass findings.  The rondelles have a little metallic gray-blue and brown on them as well as their normal sparkle.  Not sure yet if I'll actually sell it, given the memories of yesterday, but I'm posting it anyway.  The other pictures are of Aubrey's work; she wanted her "Easter egg" bracelet to be photographed on a floral plaque my Mom has, so I did.


Name:  Bead Day!

Price:  $15 (for pearl and rondelle bracelet; nothing else for sale)

Length: 8 inches