Monday, March 7, 2016

Facing More Than Bead Related Challenges

Along with the monthly Halcraft Pretty Palette challenges I've also decided to participate in Out On A Whim's first annual BEad Inspired design contest, and quite possibly in All About Beadweaving's Amulet Bag challenge as well.

I'm really loving the rich olive, topaz, russet, and ivory colors in the Autumn kit!
Compared to last year when I hardly did any bead work it seems as if I'm going just a tad bit crazy with the bead challenges, but I spent most of 2015 in The Black Hole of Depression and Despair and it feels good to be creative again.
I re-herniated 3 discs in my lower back in late January of last year, was in massive amounts of pain, and could barely walk which is why I sank into that terrible hole and hardly did anything at all, let alone beading; and most of what I did do I can barely remember.
I can recall only 6 things:
-losing my part time job at a dance studio
-a Western Spotted Skunk taking up temporary residence IN MY KITCHEN!!
-Indigo finding her bliss in synchronized swimming
-my Grandma passing away
-back surgery
-Indigo taking 3rd place at her first swim meet
This adorable l'il stinker was safely trapped and released into a nearby nature preserve.
My back is slowly getting better although I may have some permanent nerve damage which has left me with a partially numb and weak leg.  Following surgery in late August the doctors said it can take up to a year for the damaged nerves to heal, so there is a fair amount of hope that I will regain more, or possibly all, of the use of my left leg.  
If not...well...I'll deal with that when the time comes.  Indigo thinks I should give the synchronized swimming thing a try.
Either way, the depression has lifted and I'm slowly getting back into beading, dancing, yoga, and all the other things I love to do, which includes finishing the bead, crochet, cross stich, and other crafty WIPs I started last year. Here's one of the first!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Feburary Pretty Palettes Reveal

I've decided to spend this year beading along with the Halcraft Pretty Palette Challenge by exploring different ways of creating beaded wall hangings.

I had intended to stay with the pink, lacy, Valentine's Day inspired theme but my 7 year old daughter wanted to pick out the beads and she chose a multicolored strands of dyed howlite hearts and butterflies.

I'm only moderately pleased with the way this month's challenge piece turned out.  I'm not sure if it's the larger windows made with long strips of peyote stitch or the weight of the stone beads that caused the waviness.

Either way, this is about learning and exploring which means I will definitely be revisiting peyote stitch again.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Chilly Challenge-Revealing What I (Unofficially) Made for Halcraft's January Pretty Palettes Challenge

I decided to make something for the Halcraft's January Pretty Palette challenge just a few days before the reveal date and the project I chose, a 4 1/2" x 5 1/4" wall hanging, was a little too ambitious, so I missed being able to officially participate.

Earlier in January I made 2 necklaces for Art Jewelry Elements "Buried Treasure" challenge and I didn't want to make another piece of jewelry which is why I decided to make a beaded object instead.  And my walls can always use a bit of bling!

The wooden dowel I had cut and painted white has mysteriously disappeared so I had to photograph this flat.  Incidentally, the cat, dogs, husband, and child have all claimed no knowledge of the aforementioned dowel.  Oh well.  As soon as I paint another one the first one will turn up and I'll be ahead of the game.

 Seed beads, glass pearls, Swarovski crystal beads, Czech pressed class, and Bead Gallery 12 mm iridescent acrylic ball beads.

The 22 mm beads that were on the  two strands that I bought were too large for the wall hanging so I decided to combine a few of them with some vintage glass beads that have been in my stash for, well....let's just say...awhile. 

If you would like to see what the other participants made click on the link at the top of this post. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements "Buried Treasure" Challenge

After nearly a year of doing hardly any bead work I decided to reignite my creativity and love of beading by participating in a few challenges through out the year.

Up first are two delightfully fun and quirky necklaces I made for Art Jewelry Elements annual "Buried Treasure aka Use Your Stash" challenge. 

Sharon Peters lamp work cat bead and spacer beads, seed beads, copper spacer disks, and Swarovski crystals.
Sharon Peters lamp work cat bead, Czech pressed glass, Delicas, gold filled rounds, and Swarovski crystals.
The hardest part of this challenge was holding myself to the idea of using only beads, findings, and components that came from stash and not buying anything.  Later in the year I might challenge myself to another round of beading with my own buried treasure.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Three Months In One Of Some Color Fun

From top left to bottom right:  March, April, May

 March Color of the Month:  Aqua:
Fusion Beads chose "Aqua" to be the Pantone Spring 2015 color for March and this is one of my favorite Swarovski crystal colors to work with.  In fact, I have more shades of aqua colored beads in my stash than any other color, including violets and purples.
I used 4mm aqua rondelles, aqua opal daggers, and sterling silver rounds for the simple and elegant bracelet.

April Color of the Month:  Custard:
On it's own Lt. Topaz, the Swarovski equivalent of Pantone's "Custard," is a lovely, golden yellow color, but it looks absolutely horrible on me and that made it a hard color to work with.  Instead of struggling to make something that I wouldn't like or want to wear, I decided to use 6mm crystal Lt. Topaz butterflies as an accent and pair them with "Woodbine" (from Patone's Top 10 Men's Colors for Spring 2015) in the form of olivine and tan swirled 8mm fire polished rondelles.    

May Color of the Month:  Lucite Green:
What a fun color to work with!  The enamel flower charms remind me of a small mint green Formica and aluminum table my Grandmother had in her kitchen, and the chrysolite opal crystals of the shimmering sheer curtains she had throughout her house.     

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

30 Day Bead Challenge-Part 3

Days 6 & 9:  A Hollywood inspired piece and a lovely long necklace:
Mary Pickford is one of my favorite silent screen stars.  She co-founded a major motion picture studio, made a staggering number of films (approximately 230), and she loved fine jewelry.  One of her favorite pieces was a stunning 40" long pearl and diamond sautoir that she reportedly wore as an "every day" piece of jewelry.  It was also part of the jewelry she wore when she married Douglas Fairbanks.  You can see a photo of her wearing it on her honeymoon with him here.

Pearls and diamonds are the epitome of luxury, style, and sophistication, but they just don't have much appeal for me so I used her necklace as the springboard that lead to this: 
 This is more my style.  Amethyst Swarovski crystals, Preciosa crystal rondelles, sliders, Czech glass daggers, and seed beads.

Close up shot.

Days 10 & 11:  Skipping these.

Day 12:  Bicones!
I decided to make a broken 3 strand vintage Japanese pearl necklace into the closest version of a classic pearl and diamond necklace as I'm ever going to get.

 Ruby Swarovski crystals, powder rose Swarovski pearls with vintage Japanese pearls and clasp.

Day 13:  Make a jewelry design with a color of metal you have used before:  I'm skipping this one since there isn't a metal color that I haven't already used.
Day 14:  Find a bead that has been in your stash forever and use it in a fabulous new design:  That's exactly what I have been doing all along!   

I'll be skipping over the third week of the challenge so that I can work on Day 20's theme of celebrating Mother Nature and it's going to involve this little box here.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

30 Day Bead Challenge 2015-Part 2

Day 4.  Favorite Swarovski crystal or effect:
All Swarovski crystals all my favorites!  Bead mixes are lovely to look at, and I defintely squirrel them away in my stash, but I prefer order and patterns over random bead placement so they are hard for me to work with.  But, that being said, I decided for at least one day to embrace randomness.

Wisteria crystal mix from Beyond Beadery.

Purple Haze crystal mix from Fusion Beads.  Unfortunately, this mix has been discontinued.
Day 5:  Skipping this one.

Day 6:  A Hollywood inspired piece.  Working on it!  

Day 7:  Go wild for wire!  I've been playing around with Viking Knit;  whether or not I have something worth showing remains to be seen.

Day 8:  Give your beading space a make-over:  Are they kidding?  I'm right in the middle of some challenges!  My beading space is, and will be a disaster, for quite a while.