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.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The importance of 33 seconds

Anyone tempted to throw in the towel on anything should go back and watch the Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals Wild Card playoff game last night. A group of we stalwart Steeler fans had gathered at the center of our universe here in Cave Creek, aka Harold's Cave Creek Corral, along with about 1,000 other fans and tourists here to watch the National College Football Championship on Monday. In the last two minutes of the game, Cincinnati scored on a 25-yard pass from AJ McCarron to pull ahead 16-15. A collective groan could be heard by the college bowl fans celebrating 30 miles away in downtown  Phoenix. Then a Bengal pick on the Steelers' next possession seemed to seal our fate. We started to collect our terrible towels and coats so we could beat the crowd departing Harold's but wait - Bengals fumbled the ball and amazingly the Steelers gained for one more possession. Despite Ben Roethlisberger's return to the game (out with a shoulder injury) and advancing down the field, the last 22 seconds seemed all but a foregone conclusion with the Steelers out of field goal range. It's a good thing we stuck around because two personal fouls by the Bengals gave the Steelers a miracle 30 yards so Chris Boswell was within shouting distance for a 35-yard field goal.

Final Score

So to mark this victory, I thought I would share some of my recent beading creations for Steeler fans.

I have made these bead embroidered heart pins before but this one was for my friend, Sandy, shown below with the rest of the regulars who meet during football season to watch the games. If you look really closely at her shoulder (second in on the right) you will see she is wearing her pin.

Here we have some earrings made using the beaded bead tutorial by Debra Schwartz of DatzKatz Designs.

Lastly, I have a cocktail ring inspired by a tutorial by Stephanie of Bronzepony Beaded Jewelry. I am not normally a ring person but this looked like a fun and fast tutorial and apparently, it brought good mojo for the game.

So we live to fight another day when the Steelers play Denver next Saturday.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A new class, a new arsenal of supplies!

I've been beading for about eight years and, in that time, have spent a small fortune on beads, tools, wire, threads, magazines, books, classes, tutorials, storage solutions - you get the idea. I think this makes me a pretty typical devotee. I remember my Mother's passion for sewing. Over the years, she amassed enough fabric to outfit a small store. And then she migrated over to crochet and baskets of yarn popped up throughout our house in the most unexpected places. I take some comfort that my beads and supplies take up less room than fabric and yarn. But just when I think I have reached the point when I might have everything I need for a new project, another artistic dimension grabs me by the wallet and takes me down another road to poverty.

I find myself in such a place as I prepare to start my Art Jewelry Adventure online class later this month. There is a terrific web site with a calendar detailing the dates for 25 different sessions - about two classes each month -- along with the materials list for each class. With excitement, I opened the first materials list for Cat Kerr's class. Uh-oh. See all the yellow highlights on the list below? These are all the items I don't have. So I have been busy doing my comparison shopping and giving several Etsy sellers some post-holiday business.

I invite you to follow along this journey with me. I promise it won't be all whining. The first session is in 25 days so stay tuned. Hopefully, I will have completed my shopping list by then!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: Oh the possibilities!

Here we are saluting the beginning of another new year. But let's give a proper farewell to 2015. I like to do that by thinking about what I learned. In 2015, I spent significantly more of my creative time with wire. My motivation was to make my own ear wires. Pretty basic, you say? Well, it took me awhile to get an end result I liked!

This took me to wire-wrapping.

And making embellished chain.

I also did some more work with resin. My results were less successful but I continue to work on this!

Here are my creative learning goals for 2016:

  1. Complete Art Jewelry Adventure online class
  2. More work with multi-media
  3. Pearl knotting
  4. Soldering (hubby is terrified about this one!)
So that's why I chose the above Nellie Bly quote as my inspiration for 2016. What is yours?

© Cave Creek Beads