Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Finds! Bead Buddy Design Save 'N Go Caddy

I think most beaders usually have a couple projects going at any one time. There are many different methods for storing projects. Personally, I like trays. I have four of them that I line with a bead mat and then cover with a terry towel to keep curious kitties away from the beads and threads. But I am always on the look-out for clever travel options. During a recent trip to Joanne Fabrics, I came across the Bead Buddy Design and Save 'N Go. I had never seen them there before and, of course, I didn't have the weekly coupon with me to save 50%. I somehow fought the impulse purchase urge and promised to return the next day with coupon in hand.

The next day I returned, coupon in hand, and saved a cool 50% on the $18 caddy, paying about $9! Feeling smug and rather self-satisfied, I could't wait to get it home to see how it worked out. It's just a tad big for travel but I carry a fairly large carry-on duffle that should hold it.

I will give it a test run during an upcoming trip to Las Vegas and will report back on the portability factor. The padding in it is quite nice - very thick. There is also a cardboard ruler guide which I found somewhat worthless but that's just me. Others may find it useful.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Mark Gifts - Even For Your Friends With Reading Gadgets!

Even if your book-loving friends have acquired Kindles, iPads, Nooks or any other electronic reader, chances are they still possess and even buy the old-fashioned variety because, after all, they are book lovers! Book marks make the perfect gift for these friends and can be cleverly customized in themes reflecting hobbies, activities and passions. Here are the materials needed:

Shepherd's hook book mark form
Beads and/or charms in your chosen theme
Size 11 seed beads - two colors of your choice
Wire guard in either gold or silver to match your book mark form
Fireline 6 pound test
Size 12 beading needle

Below you see the book mark form, wire guard and some fun sports beads.
Bookmark form, wire guard, assorted beads

Make a spiral rope long enough to dangle from the book mark form and support the charms or beads. Be sure to leave a nice long tail as this will serve as the thread to attach your charms or other theme beads.

See some of the photos below for the spiral. Post back if you would like instructions for the stitch - it's quite easy and works up quickly.

When you have made the spiral to the desired length, thread beads and one half of the wire guard. Attach the wire guard to the circle or jump ring at the top of the book mark form and go back through the second half of the wire guard. Proceed down through the beads and connect securely to your spiral. Go back up through the beads, wire guard and back down at least one other time and twice if possible to secure. Thread through your spiral, securing with a couple half hitches and trim the Fireline.

Here's one I made earlier this month for my good friend, Karen, as a birthday gift.
"I Love My Dog" Book Mark

At the bottom of the spiral, attach charms or accent beads using a fringe method. Below you will see several theme book marks I have created for friends who are cat lovers, dog lovers, Steeler fans and wine lovers! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Paula's Cellini

I'm finally back to show you my variation of Michelle Skobal's Cellini. My modified version is longer and adjusts the cabochon attachment as well as the closure attachment. I found Michelle's cabochon attachment a bit formal so I replaced the gold crystals from the kit with gold metallic size 8 seeds along with the black crystals from the kit. The gold of the metallic size 8's really complements the gold of the delicas in the Cellini.

Paula's Variation

Below you see Michelle's design so you can see the adjustments to the cab attachment.
Michelle Skobal's Design

Then came adjustments to the clasp. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Michelle's pattern did not provide directions for attaching, so I found some online (see previous post for reference) and added three large black crystals on either side, along with the metallic gold size 8's and a metallic clasp. This particular clasp was so strong, it pulled out the crimp bead on one side, breaking my wire.

Metallic Clasp Closure

Arghhhhh! Without pulling every hair from my head, I was able to rebuild the broken side with Fireline, 10 pound for added strength, and it seems to be holding well.

The moral of the story is, even when using a kit, don't be afraid to adjust to make it your own!

© Cave Creek Beads