Friday, July 31, 2009

Rehab and a Thank You

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who made a suggestion for the silver connectors. All of your suggestions were so creative. I'll post a picture here of the final project as soon as I get it done. I suddenly have a couple more pressing issues to attend to.
The first is today at 9:00 AM. If you've been readin' the bloggin' that I've been doin' you'll know that my mom suffered a mild heart attack about three weeks ago. Well, today is the first day of Cardiac Rehabilitation! Neither of us knows what to expect, but I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a long appointment because a large manila envelope arrived in the mail about a week ago with about 5 pages of questionaires. Oh, well, on the bright side, we've been singing this song everyday for the past week in anticipation of the appointment.
Have a great day all and when I get back I'll share with you some good advice for keeping a healthy ticker.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Studio Tour and Giveaway!!

Hey Y'all!
Check it out! Heather of Humblebeads is holding a Studio Tour, and I don't know about you, but I love to see where/how other people create, so check out her blog and enter her giveaway. Who knows, you may pick up some helpful organization tips along the way.

We Have a Winner!!!!

I was just talking to my mom the other day about how I believed that the human mind could never really do anything "randomly". She agreed with me. I came to this conclusion because as I was making a "bead soup" type of bracelet, I would pick up a bead and my mind would say..."No, you just used that color, use another one." Like I said, this is definitely NOT random, however, lucky for Melissa of Chinook Jewelry, this is:
And so, she's the proud new owner of Maiz. Congrats, Melissa! Oh, and by the way, if you get a chance, go check out her blog. Her giveaway ended last night also, and we get to see what she decided to name her beautiful new pieces. Have a great day guys!
P.S. Melissa, send me an e-mail address so we can get in touch!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stars, Elements, and a Giveaway!!!!

First of all, sorry it's been so long since I posted anything! Wow! Call it business, laziness, whatever...sorry for the silence!

Okay, now for the good stuff....this month I received my Aug/September issue of Beadwork Magazine and went straight to page 56 where I found Gwen Fisher's pattern for Archimedes's Star. Now, I love big, lacy beadweave patterns and this one was right up my alley. So, here it is in all it's glory. The clasps are my own design, I didn't have any buttons/beads to use for the clasps, so I made some six pointed litte stars to use as toggles. Enjoy!

For my next experiment, I challenged myself to find a way to use these little silver circle connectors that I bought at Joann Fabrics. So I made some circular, and connected them with jump rings. Now, here's the kicker...I don't like it. The connections aren't smooth and I don't think the spirals go with the little silver thingies. (On closer look, they're very "flower power") Which leads me to the next part of this post.....

....a Giveaway!! That's right, I'm giving away this bracelet.
I call it "Maiz" because it reminds me of Indian Corn. So, here's what you have to do:
Leave me a comment telling me what you think I can/should do with the little silver connector thingies in the above picture (or what you'd like to see me try) and be sure to leave an e-mail address, so I can contact you.

I'll leave everything open until midnight Tuesday, July 28. After that, I'll throw everybody's name in a hat and pick a winner.
P.S. If we can get more than 15 people to sign up for this, I'll throw an extra little gift in with the bracelet! :) So, come on people, help me out with the little silver connector thingies! (Yes, "thingies" is the technical term.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

July ABS and Bead Embroidery

Okay, I know that I've already submitted an entry into the July ABS competition. But I couldn't resist entering one more time with this beautiful lampworked glass bead from Pam Ferrari. I used the color scheme of the painting, some wood and brass beads and voila!...another entry for ABS. It's definitely something I'm not used to doing. I don't consider myself a "stringer" and I'd forgotten how hard it was to make wire-wrapped loops. Whew! I'm glad I don't do that everyday!
Now, I want to show you a couple new pieces of bead embroidery that I've recently finished. The first is a pendant that I call Autumn's Mark and the second is a barrette that I call Solveig's Summer Barrette (because it was made for my friend Solveig to wear this summer!). I am really loving these pieces, both made with cabochons from Lawatha.
I also wanted to say a quick word about bead embroidery. A year and a half ago when I started doing beadwork, I started with off-loom techniques, peyote, brick stitch, and herringbone. It wasn't until I bought The Art of Bead Embroidery by Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kummli that I really started to do bead embroidery and I absolutely love it. I love the freedom that it offers. I can organize the beads any way that I want and put them in any pattern. I don't have to think about how I can create the design with one bead connected to the other, I can just put them where I want them to go. I don't have to follow any rules and I'm only limited by my imagination.
If you've ever wanted to try something that you didn't think you could do (for me it was bead embroidery) go ahead and give it a shot, you never know, you may find that there are other hobbies/adventures that you love just as much as what you are doing now. (oh, and if you say that you are limited by budget/time, etc...bead embroidery was perfect for me because it only required the purchase of a $2 piece of stiff felt and 1 yard of ultrasuede for $4 and for only $6, I've been able to create all of the pendants and barrettes that I've posted on this blog and my Flickr account) Thanks for letting me get on my soapbox. Have a great day!

P.S. I haven't forgotten about my promise to do something exciting with the Maiz bracelet...more details coming soon! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

I love challenges, swaps, giveaways, etc...

I just wanted to say thanks to Kristie Roeder of Artisan Clay. She just sent me a box full of wonderful things from the Creative People are Adventurous Challenge. I was so excited to receive her things and I set right to work creating a bracelet with one of the connectors that she sent me. Here it is and if you want to see the other things that she sent me, check out the link to her blog that I posted above. She has some really great things.

Also, I finished another bracelet design that I've been working on. My mom calls it Cerulean Turbulence, I kinda like Cerulean Waves, I think it's a little easier to pronounce!

Enjoy your day! It's beautiful outside and we're going out later to enjoy the air and sunshine, if it's gorgeous where you're at, I hope you get to do the same!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Matters of the Heart

Wow, what a weekend it has been for me. Late Friday night my mom woke me up saying that she was having chest pains. We rushed her to the emergency room where we found out that she had had a mild heart attack. They ran a few tests, and kept her there until Monday afternoon. We found out that she has a problem with one of the main veins coming from the heart. It is about half the size that it should be. The doctor said that it was a birth defect and that there is nothing that they can do. Because of this, she runs high blood pressure, and that's what caused the chest pains and heart attack. She's home now and doing absolutely fine. I stayed with her three nights in the hospital, and seeing someone you love so dearly go through something like that is so difficult in mind, body, and spirit. I am so glad that she is home safe and healthy. To top it all off her birthday was yesterday and my relatives came down to see us, so all in all we've had a loooong weekend, and I'm glad it's over.

One of the happy parts was coming home on Monday and receiving this gift in the mail from my friend in Puerto Rico, Mari. I won the little felt flowers in a giveaway on her blog, but I was totally not expecting the bangle. It is beautiful and almost too pretty to wear! Thanks, Mari, these "regalitos" really brightened my day!

Also, here's some new stuff that I finished (on Thursday!). This is a cuff that I call "Maiz". For those of you that don't know, that means "corn" in Spanish and it reminds me of an ear of Indian corn. It's very cute, and I have some plans for this cuff, so stay tuned!

Lastly, a pendant for my sister with one of Lawatha's cabochons.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July ABS Challenge

First of all, here's my latest herringbone spiral. It's different shades of purple and blue, I've been wanting a purple/blue combo necklace for a while and I really like the look of spiral herringbone.
Secondly, here's my entry for the July ABS Challenge. It's a glass moose cabochon made by Lawatha. I orginally intended for it to be a brooch, but I think I"ll make it a bookmark which means adding a ribbon and some fringe. I've surrounded it with colors and striations inspired by the painting in the challenge. I got super-lucky with this cabochon, I received it over two weeks ago, and it's perfect for the challenge!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Completed projects

Here are some of the things that I've been working on recently that I just finished. I know that the pendant isn't perfect, but I like it. I probably would have tried to fix it to make it perfect if it had been a gift.
The Daisy Chain is an updated modern version of the beadwoven daisy chain that I learned as a kid, it follows the same pattern as this bracelet, but I added the leaves. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Success and Failure

First of all, Happy Independence Day all!!
Now, for the bad news. I was outside minding my own business, playing frisbee with the family (carrying one too many s'more in my belly) when I felt my necklace hanging a little lower than it ought to around my neck. Lo and behold, it was broken and dangling sadly down my shirt. While my first thought was how useless Nymo and Spiral Herringbone were, I kept looking a little closer, and I think that the problem comes from the fact that I used Hex beads for this particular necklace, and the edges were just too sharp. Oh well, you win some, you lose some and I can't only post successes. I'm sad that my necklace is broken, but I'm gonna buckle down and find a way to fix it. (That is after I get some of my other projects done. Priorities, people!) Hope you had a good 4th!

P.S. It's in black and white because I'm sad. :(

Friday, July 3, 2009

Around the neck or in the hair...

These are two of my newest pieces. Remember the cabochons that I bought from Lawatha? Well, I used them to make this beautiful hair barrette and necklace. I don't know why I've been so into hair barrettes lately, maybe because I used to wear one everyday when I was ten, or maybe because they're simple and cute. I dunno. Enjoy!