Saturday, February 6, 2016

Solving big and small problems

We are just finishing repairs on a kitchen disaster that occurred while we were away last fall. Our ice maker hose, which was run up high in our kitchen bulkhead, sprung a leak right over our cook top so that by the time it was discovered, the damage inside the wall had been done and our cooktop was ruined. In fact the force of the water was so great it caused the wood in the surrounding cabinets to swell and crack the granite. ugh. Here's just one of the many photos taken by our friend and contractor, Walt Householder (isn't that a great name for a handy person?).

It took quite a long while to get back to normal. We had to let everything dry out and then the drywall was repaired. Next came picking new granite (how overwhelming) and then waiting for that to be fabricated. Walt helped us select a new cooktop which sat in our garage for two months while all the repairs were taking place. How did we manage meals without the cooktop? Thankfully, our oven is a separate unit as well as our outside grill. But we still missed our cooktop, especially over Thanksgiving and Christmas. I found this snappy little appliance at Walmart and it has been a saving grace. We have made just about everything in this thing: boiled eggs and noodles, cooked ground beef and even made applesauce.

So in the spirit of necessity being the Mother of Invention, I present to you my George Constanza wallet! It doesn't quite qualify since George's wallet had a rubber band securing all of its contents in place. But fans of Seinfeld will know what I mean. I love my wallet and did not want to buy a new one when I lost the little pull-thingy on the change compartment. For a long time, I got by with a safety pin in place of the pully-thingy and then I felt embarrassed. So beading to the rescue! I made this cute little dangle out of some 18-gauge craft wire and beads. I like it better than the original.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Beaders without borders

I fell in love with this sweet superduo heart when I saw it on Pinterest:

Beadtales Blog

It was the perfect embellishment for a mixed media piece I am making but when I went in search of directions, I found that Valentina's YouTube tutorial was in Italian. Determined not to be deterred by this small cultural barrier, I watched the video about 10 times and finally got the hang of it and picked up a little Italian in the process. Here are two of the hearts I made:

And here's my batch of embellishments. Pardon the threads but I leave on my working threads for attachment.

Molto bello!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Earrings -- the perfect pick me up!

I am working on a couple large projects that won't be finished for quite awhile. While I work, I catch up on my YouTube subscriptions. You've heard me mention Christina Larsen from CSLDesigns before. Christina has an amazing way of easing the process of working with wire, which usually makes me feel like I have two left thumbs. I made the below Celtic Knot Earrings after watching her video one time. It's fun to finish something quickly and be able to wear it that day. If you have been intimidated by wire work, you should definitely check out Christina's tutorials. She also does a lot of kumihimo but I haven't tried those tutorials yet.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Yay! A wedding!

My niece, Mariah, is getting married this June. She will be the first of our 20 nieces and nephews to marry and I have a suspicion our social schedule will be quite filled with showers, weddings and other festivities for the next 15 years or so!

I decided to start a tradition to offer to make my nieces their bridesmaids' jewelry. These past couple months, Mariah and I have chatted about her colors and her bridesmaids' dresses. Since we live across the country from each other, much of our communication is electronic. Thank goodness for photos. In the below collage on the right you see her colors and the bridesmaid's dress.

I decided to make ten samples so she could pick her favorite. Below is a collage of the 10. Over the next couple months, I will feature a few of my favorites leading up to the big day when you will get to see the one she chose.

This twisted peyote design was my favorite. This was my design, inspired by the technique in Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes book. I just love the movement of twisted peyote and the front loop closure gives it a different look, along with an embellished rivoli for a little extra bling.

© Cave Creek Beads