Monday, January 28, 2019

January Update - More Copper

I think the copper run may be officially over because I am out of the copper links. I did incorporate a small supply of copper bead caps that have not been easy to use with beads because they are oversized, even for a 14M bead. Using pliers I straightened the caps using one as a focal point and then one on each end of the cuff.

My goto bead colors always seem to be metal colors and I love combining them. The cabochons were bezeled with 11/0 shiny copper delicas. I also used bronze 11/0 round seed beads and a mixture of bead colors that I call a southwest theme.

The bead edging was completed with 8/0 bronze round seed beads. This was the first time I used the 8/0 over 11/0 beads. In my opinion the end result was bold and beautiful.

I glued the beaded foundation to a blank cuff and finished the underside with a soft brown leather. 

The last copper design this month was a pair of earrings. I started out feeling luke warm about the design and style and ended up loving them.

It has been a fun month using up all of my copper supplies. I hope you find inspiration for how I have been using copper links, beads and bead caps.

On the side I have been working on a beading tutorial for a bezeled cabochon I recently completed with a lacy and layered technique. I will provide an update when that becomes available in my Etsy shop. 

Happy Beading!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Copper Components and more

I have been hooked on copper designs following my last post on the pendant and earrings. I like that design so much I made another pair of the oval copper link earrings. I have listed them in Etsy Shop with 20% off. Sale price is $60 plus free shipping.

Also listed in my Etsy Shop is a feather pin approximately 2-1/4 inch in size. This was a super easy design once I found feather templates on Pinterest. To make the left side elevated I put another piece of bead foundation along the left side and then glued it in place.  

As usual, I added a light piece of cardboard backing behind the felt foundation and then cut small slit in the ultra suede that is glued down. I am thinking I will make this design a short tutorial. It's great for beginners and the end result can be achieved easily.

Friday, December 21, 2018

November/December Updates

There comes a time when some things need to change or you will get bored. I love all of my bling work done with shiny crystals. I probably will not abandon that creative zone, but I need new challenges. In admiring other bead artists I realized I have more potential than I am tapping. I looked around my studio for pieces that are gathering dust that could be incorporated into my beadwork.

First, I had these copper links I purchased probably 10 years ago. I think I made a necklace or two and probably disassembled one of them. I love copper so I came up with a use for the links which happen to match a necklace that also came out of unearthing some older copper beads.

The moral of the story is more things go together if you just look hard enough. Another idea I am tapping is having my pendants be useful as a pin. I love pins and have a good collection I have accumulated over the years. None of my collection are pins I made because I really just started making pins over the past 3 years.

Let's me breakdown my creative process for each piece.  This piece resulted in that copper ring. It was part of a stick pin thingy I made that fell flat in interest in my Etsy shop. The cabochon is an orphan with no mate. Between these two items as the focal I strung some beads of interest around the parameter. The fringe just added a nice detail to dangle from a 16 inch silver snake chain that will also serve as a pin. 

In my opinion the piece was just too striking to have one purpose so I added the loop and bar pin to the leather backing. 

Feeling stoked from having the above piece turn out to my satisfaction I went back to the drawing board with some other loose components. First, if you follow my work you will notice I love metal color beads mainly because they create a richness to what is actually just tiny pieces of glass.  For this piece I used 6 copper beads as the focal around the cabochon that is encased in matte copper delica seed beads. To make the copper pop I used 8/0, 11/0 and 15/0 nickel plated Miyuki seed beads.

Once again, a piece too striking to have one purpose. You might notice the chain is different from the above photo because I was checking the looks of a snake chain versus a stainless steel link chain. I think they both look good!

Next, the earring design had to coordinate, but not be too matchy matchy. I strive to avoid this tendency in my designs. 

The copper links, copper beads and nickel plated seed beads tied the earrings to the pendant design.

Thought you would like to see the earring posts. I could not find these any where in the usual bead catalogues. It was another artist that pointed me to AliExpress to find them.  They only come in silver or gold plated, however, they are sturdy and comfortable to wear.  I do lightly bend the lever piece a little at the tip to be sure they have an extra looseness in case someone has a fuller earlobe.  

That wraps up creative journey in November/December to expand my vision and skills to higher limits. 

Up ahead in 2019 is my goal to bead a clutch purse. I found the perfect pattern for the purse from ChrisW Designs from Australia. The purse design is called Chloe's Court. Once again, I plan to incorporate odds and ends into the beadwork design. 

As always, if you have any questions or need help on resources, please email me. Thanks!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Another October piece completed and listed in my Etsy shop. This pin and pendant can be found here.

A decal object I saw became a bead embroidered pin and pendant. This project pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone of freeform beading. For anyone looking to move up a level try looking for pictured objects that can be traced and then filled in with beads.  I encourage the use of contrasting bead colors and different shades of the same colors to create dimensional looking designs. 

For the cat outline I used 15/0 gunmetal black round seed beads and in the center I used 15/0 round seed beads in galvanized silver and crystal.  I wanted the center raised so I picked up 3 (silver, crystal, silver) beads and pushed the needle back down close to the working thread. By raising the center slightly it sharpened the inner outline.

The backside was lined with a faux leather fabric. I glued a 1 inch bar pin and made a chain guide using a small strip of ultra suede. I did a basic sewing stitch across the strip adding a bead with each stitch. My fancy way to hide the thread. I trimmed the length close to the bead stitch and then glued the strip to the backside with E6000 glue. This is the very best glue for jewelry making. My best advice is less is best.  It has great adhesion and dries clear, you just don't need a lot in the application.

As always, I hope my beading journey provides inspiration for you!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

October Update

It's been a productive month already on the beading front.  I have been bouncing all over the place with ideas and finishing incomplete work.  I hope my sharing of projects inspires someone else to challenge themselves. 

My sister requested beaded teal ribbons for her upcoming conference in support of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention. Given the recent Supreme Court news it seems appropriate to share the finished ribbons with everyone.

I began the first one as a 2 inch ribbon, but then downsized it to 1-1/2 inches.

Shortly after posting pics to Instagram I received a request for the 1-1/2 inch ribbon. The out the door version is below.

The embroidered collar I have been working on for 3 months is nearly finished. I intentionally was not in a hurry because these are supposed to provide relaxation. The last steps are the hook and ultra suede backing. The earrings came about by chance. They were another unfinished idea sitting in a draw. I realized the tangerine crystals looked awesome with the collar. I call these orphan ideas happy endings.

Last, I listed another pinwheel peyote triangle color pattern in my Etsy Shop. This series of my tutorials are not how to make the triangle. The intention is to share the color placement. 

For the fun of it I added a Rivoli to my prototypes of the pattern. 

That's all for now.  I still have 2 weeks left this month!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

New Tutorial - Triangle Rivoli

I have not posted in months, but I have been plenty busy. For anyone that follows my beading tutorials there is a new one coming out next week. I have made this earring for a few years now. A recent buyer asks if this would eventually be a tutorial. Yes, Yes, Yes.  I have to test the pattern one more time and then it will be listed in my Etsy shop Preserve Studio.

All three of these earrings are for sale in Etsy shop Preserve Studio.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunburst Yellow Glamour Drops

When I am in between creative ideas I revert to bead shapes. One of my favorites is the peyote stitched teardrop shape topped with a crystal rivoli.  I have given this earring design to family and friends, but this is the first time I have made a pair to keep. The reason I am keeping these is I love the sunburst yellow crystal and they are a prototype to a new earring tutorial I am working to publish in my Etsy shop in a few weeks. I usually make this shape using only delica seed beads. I experimented with adding the 11/0 round seed beads in the outside rows and now I really like the contrast it gives to the shape. 

The earring length is about 2-1/2 inches long from the top of the french ear wire.   

For a friend's birthday I designed the earring below because she loves the rivoli crystal but not a long earring. To ensure the loop kept its shape through time I put on two coats of Everbrite's ProtectaClear. ProtectaClear is a clear coating that will seal and protect metals that get a lot of use. It also acts as a stiffener for beaded shapes. 

These earrings match a beaded collar necklace that is 99% done. I hope to have this finished and photographed in about a week. See you then....

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Eye of Sauron

I took a break from a larger beading project and made a pendant and barrette incorporating the Eye of Sauron. I found a talented artist (Yvonne Williams) on YouTube that shared an in-depth lesson on painting these eyes on the backside of glass cabochons. They were super easy to make and I really like that each eye is unique.

It's really important to use calibrated glass cabochons to avoid any distortion of the image. I have not tried it yet, but I would imagine one could adhere a paper image underneath. I purchased these cabs from AliExpress, a China based online store similar to Amazon. I am amazed at the art supplies I can find there that I can't find anywhere else. The shipping time is anywhere from 14 - 45 days, but it worth the wait for the prices and many merchants offer free shipping.

The barrette is a 3 inch clip and it is currently listed for sale in my Etsy shop for $38.