Friday, February 24, 2017

Simpatico with Pantone's Greenery

I had a moment of delight opening my Beading Daily email this morning to read about the Pantone Greenery color palette for 2017. I usually gravitate to a certain bead palette and am not typically governed by each season's changes. However, for once I am completely simpatico with Pantone's Greenery palette. In fact, it feels like most things I have made this year so far have been somewhere in this spectrum.

Beading Daily Features Pantone's Greenery

Actually, the green in the below ring is more olivine than those in the Greenery palette but I included it anyway since I really love the design by Stephanie at BronzePony Beaded Jewelry.

Here's another of her designs, which I whipped up in no time: the Interlace Band ring. This one is great on a middle finger but I had a terrible time trying to photograph my own hand! Clearly, I will never be a hand model but this gives you an idea. And, thanks to Photoshop, I removed the age spots on my hands. Wish it were that easy in real life!

Interlace Band Ring, Design by Bronzepony Beaded Jewelry
But here's the green that really reminded me of the Pantone palette. This design is by Lisa Kan from the December 2016/January 2017 Beadwork Magazine. Lisa's designs are beautiful but usually a little fussy for me. A beading buddy was working on it and requested my thoughts about the pendant bezel which is made from cubic right angle weave - a bit tricky. In fact this entire pendant is not for the feint of heart. The design wasn't graded for difficulty but I would say it is definitely an intermediate-level one. 

Lisa Kan's Radiance Necklace Design

Do you have any Greenery designs on your bead board this month?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rings, rings and earrings

Quick hit beading projects are the best. You get the satisfaction of finishing a project and a fun item to give as a gift or wear that same day. Aside from my engagement and wedding rings, I have never been much of a ring-wearer but recently have gravitated to wearing beaded rings. I thought I would share a few of those designs with you.

The cabochon ring is an embellished dichroic cabochon on a peyote stitch band. The gold and blue ring was from a design by Catharina Thomas, featured in The Beader's Handbook. You can easily make the embellished round into earrings.

That's why I really enjoy so many of the tutorials by Stephanie of BronzePony Beaded Jewelry. She's one of my favorite YouTube personalities and her tutorials are always well done and accessible. I really went to town last week-end making her Summer Daze earring design. I am a super duo addict to begin with so these were right up my alley.

Summer Daze Design by Stephanie at BronzePony Beaded Jewelry
The earrings on the left are a different design based on a project on Linda's Crafty Inspirations blog. I added the Swarovski scarab drops which I recently discovered.

Stephanie also offered a ring tutorial to complement the Summer Daze earring designs. This makes up even faster than the earrings and would be a really cute project to do with my nieces. I love the way she uses the super duos to make the band - very clever!

And here's a final ring. This is part of the Blossoms set by Melanie Potter, a kit I purchased in 2013. I had it so long, I lost the instructions and had to write to Melanie requesting another copy. It must be a popular item because it is still in stock and I am linking to it in the photo below if you are interested.

Here's the photo of Melanie's kit with a link to her web store in the caption.

Kit available on School of Beadwork

The bracelet is almost finished but I want to do a wrist measurement for my giftee so I will post that later. Meantime, find some fun earring and ring designs and have a blast!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Have a heart (I know, it's corny)

Last January I wrote about discovering a tutorial to make super duo hearts. I made those hearts many times for various projects like the one shown here.

And, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I looked through my heart patterns and decided this is still one of my favorites. The YouTube tutorial by VALENTINAoOo [sic] is in Italian and I had to listen to it about 20 times to get the thread path. So I made the below crib notes to help guide me.

Now beware if you decide to follow my notes - they are not a full tutorial and only serve to guide me through the first couple rows until my memory for the design takes over.

I wanted to make some heart charms to send as little Valentine surprises and I found just the right color of red super duos in Tucson last week-end. I changed them up by adding a round-ish component at the top to serve as a spot for a jump ring or bail. These reminded me of the sacred Mexican heart images so I refer to them as my sacred super duo hearts.

Here's a close-up of the modified design. You can see where I joined the top connector to the heart. I probably should have used crystal Fireline to make the join but at least it's easier to see with the darker Fireline below.

And here's how it looks as a book bag charm.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tucson 2017

Tucson is to beaders what Augusta is to golfers, what Omaha is to college baseball fans and what Disneyland is to kids of all ages. Every time I visit the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, I am fascinated with how it came to be that the entire city is taken over for over a month every year by people buying and selling the most amazing things, from precious gems to bargain trinkets. When I make the 2 1/2-hour drive, I think it would be fun to live in Tucson so I could spend almost a whole month visiting all the shows that have never made my list for a day trip. And then I deal with the traffic and decide against it.

This was my fourth time to visit Tucson for the bead shows and this year was an especially fast trip.  There are over 45 "shows" or venues at locations across the city. My first visit was in 2010 and I spent hours pouring over online information, watching YouTube tutorials and planning the venues I would visit. And that is really the best approach. Give yourself at least one visit just to get oriented and see what all the fuss is about. Better yet, adopt a buddy who has been there before and will show you the ropes. That way, you can decide if it is your cup of tea and can be more targeted in planning future visits.

It's very easy to get overwhelmed. Here we see just one venue at the Kino Sports Complex where tent upon tent holds an abundance of materials.

Some less well organized than others. Buffalo teeth, anyone?

One of my must-do venues is To Bead True Blue held at the Doubletree Hotel.

They have a sister venue called The Tucson Bead Show, held at the Radisson. It is perhaps one of the strangest set-ups I have ever seen. There is one smallish ballroom where some of the vendors are located but most vendors are set up in individual hotel suites where the items for sale are in one room and the room the vendors sleep in is in the other. Every time I visit, I wonder if I am the only one who finds it a little creepy and off-putting as you try to figure out what rooms you want to visit. They do seem to host a fair number of classes so maybe that is the main attraction.

Here are my goodies. My first stop was the Potomac Beads booth where I met Ali Brukner, star of their YouTube tutorials. I was out of Tulip needles which are my very favorite needles and then I picked up some of the new shaped beads: a pack of Ava beads, dome beads and cup buttons.

Potomac Bead Company Purchases

Then a mandatory stop is The Lipstick Ranch. Oh my how I love their charms, pendants and chain. Take a look at the unusual 6mm ball chain. The fringe is to make a sassy tassel that is secured in a bead cap. Tassels were very prominent throughout the show.

Lipstick Ranch Purchases

Next was a kumihimo kit and some unusual findings from Ancient Moon Beads.

Ancient Moon Beads Purchases

Then, I bought two finished items. I fell in love with these raku pieces by Jennifer Pottner who creates mix and match components that you can use in your own designs or tie them together with one of her beautiful silk ties. Aren't these colors delicious?

Jennifer Pottner Purchases

I have been wearing more beaded rings lately and couldn't resist a make and take booth by Marianne Kasparian of MAKU Studio. MAKU also does raku designs so I must have been in a raku mood this trip. Here is my distinctive make and take ring. Not bad for $15.

Make and Take Ring by Marianne Kasparian

Here are my final purchases. The left three pieces came from the T-Beads Booth at the Kino Community Center (where traffic was really light) and the seed beads on the right were  my only purchases at the Tucson Bead Show from the Beading House booth.

Next year my goal is to take some classes and stay for a bit longer but all in all, it was a pretty fun day!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Punxsutawney Phil

My good friend AmyBeads is a Patriots fan so I hope she is not offended by this photo.

Phil is holding my Steeler Love beaded heart.

© Cave Creek Beads