Friday, October 30, 2009

Beadin Path Design Partner - Epic Fail!

This entry is difficult to write. I have been working on this necklace since Wednesday, and it has nearly beaten me. No, I may succumb to the will of this necklace and say, Yes, I am beaten.

It all started with this. A great picture of a rambling rose. I have these awesome German vintage flower beads from Beadin Path and they have been taunting me. I did not have any inspiration to work with them and had no idea what to do.

I saw this picture and the idea began to form. I wanted a bulky piece, a multi strand piece, something random and tangled.

And so the building began.

I started with a triple strand, made it simple. Gold stone and the vintage flowers. Make it as a base. Easy enough.


I got started on the necklace. As I pulled the third strand thru so I could anchor it to a copper link, this happened.

Right in the middle of the design. AAAARRRRGGGG!!!!!! *sigh* The plastic coating on the wire had been stripped. More than likely from a burr on the inside of the bead. Begin again Finnegan. I pulled the strand back out, replaced it and began on the design again. At this point, I was mad and decided to put it down and take a breather.


Picked up the design, less frustrated and started again. This is where it gets ugly. I am gonna warn you now, the following pictures are disturbing. I had the necklace laid out on the kitchen table, one side anchored to the copper link, the other ends of the strands still loose. The dogs are dancing at the front door (it has been raining and they only go out when they have to - sissies) I leave the necklace on the table and let the dogs out. They do their business and when I come back to the kitchen I find this.....

My floor is filthy from the Four Hellhounds and the coupious amounts of debris they track in from the yard. My necklace is on that floor. My cat, had decided the loose strands were his toy, and flung it off the table.

*CENSORED* *beats head against table*

My room mate scensed my frustration and helped me pick up as many of the beads as we could from the floor -

And the re stringing began. This had me hot - HOT. Working with these little 2 - 3mm beads is a pain. I don't have the patience to string them one at a time. I have a system where I pull them off in groups from the hank and thread them all at the same time. That way I am stringing them in 3/4" to 1 " groups.

Let me show you. This makes stringing tiny pre-strung beads a breeze.
Grip several of the beads between your index finger and thumb.

Gently pull the thread from the beads, keeping the 'pinched' beads firmly held.

Now you have a group of bead, held in place and the holes are lined up.

Push your beading wire thru

And now Wha-La!

Look they are all strung. It makes is go by so much faster.

Now you see where my frustration was stemming from, lets move on to the next disaster. The middle flower is upside down. By this time I am dangerously quiet. I put the design down and James takes me out for my birthday. Beer is good.

This morning, despite the upside down flower smack dab in the MIDDLE of the design, I continue on with the building. I have 5 strands, I want it to represent the flowers in the middle of a bramle/rambling rose type wandering flowering brush. I wanted the flowers to peak out, and the green and brown lucite to be the branches and the clumps of leaves. I weave the strands thru each other to give it a tangled look and it finally comes together.


The final strand, the last anchor, before the necklace is complete - this happens.

At this point I have lost it. It is all I can do not to throw the necklace along with my new nippers into the trash. Oh, the nippers??? Yes my new nippers. I am SO disappointed. They cut the silver and copper wire, like butter, but the bead a lon, they mash, that is all they do, mash. I looked at the edges of the nipper and from cutting wire, they are all mar'd and chew'd up. *sigh* I threw them away. I am sure they are in a cozy trash truck as I write this heading for the landfil playground.

This necklace is going into a bag and onto a shelf where it can rot for all I care. It has to be completely re done, from scratch to change the upside down flower back upright. I don't have it in me.

I will show you the end product and maybe one day in the future it will be a completed design.

Tomorrow I am going to the Intergalactic Bead Show and buy myself a new pair of nippers and try to find Ms. Suzzanne of A Grain of Sand and see her wonderful wares in person.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beading contests 2009/2010

I rounded up some of the beading contests for the remainder of this year and next year. I have posted this before, but have added more information so if you didn't see it before, there may be something new you want to try.

I got my fingers crossed!

Bead Dreams 2010
8 categories from jewelry to beaded items

8th Annual The Ugly Necklace Contest, 2010
Shopping spree's for first and second place.

Seed Beads Beading Contest
Firemountain Gems has six categories of great beading ideas. Win a shopping spree!

Your Designs Rock!
Rings & Things contest consists of five categories, with two chances to be entered into a raffel!

Firemountain Gems have expanded their contests to six times a year!! Next contest is Art Clay,Wire Work, Metal Beads and Chains- deadline January 12, 2010."

CARPE BEADUM Design Contest 2009
1 Stop Bead Shop has kits available including lampworked beads, crystals, tierracast spacers, and seed beads. Please choose your color - we have more than one colorway available. The kit is available for sale at $35.00 each starting NOW. - deadline is Nov. 15, 2009

Haute Couture Beading Contest
Choose from the supplied pictures and let it inspire you to create a piece, primarily of seed beads and submit it!! Deadline is Nov, 20, 2009

Not into contests?
These publications are always looking for submissions.

Beadwork's W.O.R.D ("What Our Readers Did")
Send photos of your projects to Work inspired by projects published in previous issues of Beadwork magazine are especially welcome. Selected submissions may be published in Beadwork magazine on the "Letters" page.

Jewelry Artist Monthly Design Challenge
Each month Jewelry Arist challenges artists to sketch a specific design challenge. A selection of sketches are published in the "Your Turn" section of the magazine. Complete rules and entry information in every issue of Jewelry Artist. Deadline varies (generally the 30th of the month).

Step by Step Beads "Gallery of Reader Work"
Step by Step Beads editor Leslie Rogalski periodically calls for reader submissions on a certain theme. Selected submissions may be published in the magazine or on the website. Submission details inside Step by Step Beads magazine.

Step by Step Wire Jewelry "Wire Works" Reader Gallery
Please send images of your original wire designs to Selected submissions may be published in Step by Step Wire Jewelry.

Bead Trends Magazine
Bead Trends is an international publication offering new categories each month for you to enter. Submissions accepted will be published.

Good luck to you all!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beadin Path Design Partner - Vintage Lucite Bracelets

I have had the best time playing with this lucite from Beadin Path! I can't get enuff of it. At first, I honestly thought I could do nothing with it. I have worked with stones for so long as the bulk of the design, I didn't know if I could incorporate the lucite. Boy was I wrong. I can't believe how inspired I am to create with these.

These side drilled little translucent orange ones are really growing on me. The way the light shines thru them and the way they 'wobble' in the design due to their drilling. Makes every piece - 'jewelry in motion'

Ok, I confess - I LOVE THEM ALL!! These 16mm jonquil beads are beautiful, bulky, bold, like an encore on your wrist, people will want to see it again and again. They go with literally anything. I love how copper brings the warmth out in them. I may be partial to them because jonquils are my favorite flowers.

I am having the best time playing with this lucite!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dream a little dream with me

I got this bead a while back from Art Beads and wanted to incorporate it into a different design. I had the idea in my head, but it just wouldn't come out my fingers.

I have unconsciously rolled this bead around between my fingers looking for that special something to do with it. Put it down, and pick it up again. I wanted it to be tucked into a design so when seen, it would be like a hidden treasure.

It didn't work that way. I played around with a previous design and a pendant and liked the idea so much, I used it again for this bead.

It is a fun 'tween' design, simple, casual, but to the point - "Dream"

We all need a little dream don't we?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Beadin Path Design Partner - Cremesicles and Sundaes

I had a busy weekend. One of those weekends that I blinked on Friday and it was Monday. I had so much to do that by the time I sat down to get some work done, it was 8 p.m. But work I did!!

I have been wanting to work with these Vintage Lucite Light Orange Marbled Rice 12x22mm Beads from Beadin Path . They remind me of creamsicles. But before I show you what I did, I have to show you this bead. I love this bead. If you look at it close it has the face of the prince from the video game Beautiful Katamari. This is one of my favorite games that is not an FPS. If you look, you will see the eyes nose and mouth. To cute!

Here is a little bit of the madness that is Katamari

I used copper wire and made handwound links with the vintage lucite bead, and capped them with faceted red agate and moonstone.

Then I made links with three magnesite beads and copper links as spacers and capped them with copper and faceted red agate (they look like ice cream sundaes to me)

To accent these, I made links with copper filigree beads and swarovski and put them all together and added in a fire crab agate pendant bead, accented with the Side Drilled Button Round Beads 11mm Transparent Orange.

End result

Made these simple little earrings made with the side drilled beads to go along with them.

I had fun and was thrilled the inspiration came so quickly.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oh those pesky pendants

A few days ago while organizing my work room, I ran across these pendants.

Working with a pre-made pendant is a real challenge for me. I can't seem to always work them into a design without them being a glaring distraction from the whole piece. I dont' want to just put a pendant on a chain or a thong either. What fun is that. Then the thought hit me - use that chain or leather thong, but do it a bit differently. I used three pieces of leather and some big hole sterling barrels. Slid the barrels onto the leather, gave em a bit of a mash to hold them in place and WOW.

Simple, to the point and makes a statement all it's own.

What would you do with those pesky pendants???

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Retail display ideas

I was recently picked up by a local retail shop, Gifts With A Heart, in Raleigh and was faced with the "display dilemma ". There is not enuff space for busts (and I prefer not to use them) T-Bars do not show case your work, the display area is limited so I can't use my props - what is an artist to do!

Oh the confines!! They burn!! They burn!!!

I took into consideration the amount of space I would have to work with and began the hunt for the perfect display piece. I happened upon the jewelry display section at Firemountain Gems and found the Chain and Necklace display, economically priced with four to a pack. I got them in black and in clear. These are quite nice and exactly what I need.

Trying to set up and take pictures for my blog can be trying at times. Meet Zeus, he demands your attention as well......

This display will hold several necklaces, allowing you to see the design front on, as opposed to a side veiw.

The other bonus to this type of display, is it allows me to add my business card to the tag of each necklace, because the tags hang behind the display!

Let me explain :)

I took advantage of the fact that the store owner allowed me to use my business cards and encouraged me to market myself. (some don't believe it or not) One other thing to take into consideration in a set up like this, if a customer has a question about the components of the piece, unless the sales clerk is familiar with all of the products, the customer may not get their answer.

Let's solve this, shall we :)

I used shipping labels and printed them out with information about each piece.

Applied the label to the back of one of my business cards, added a colorful stamp to make the price easy to find, added the inventory number to the corner, popped a hole in it and tied it with ribbon to the jewelry.

All the informaiton the store owner needs and the customer wants to know is all right there, and allows me to do a bit of advertising.

Nice, tidy, neat display, takes up next to no space, and can hold up to 12 pieces. Perfect.

Friday, October 23, 2009

More ArtBeads Fun!!

Got home from work last nite, and there was my order from ArtBeads!

What was in this order?
BBA-EAR03 - Antique Brass-Plated Plain Earwire
SS-OJR30-F - STG Open Jump Ring - 0.030 x .210 inc
TOOL-101 - Nipper Tool - not pictured
SSWR12HHF - Sterling Wire Round 12 Gauge HALF HARD - not pictured
48722 - Copper Wire Wrapped Center Toggle Clasp
48712 - Copper Thick Rope Wrapped S Clasp
BCACH12 - Antique Copper-Plated Textured Oval Link
BCCH19 - Copper-Plated Oval Link Chain

I have to tell you, I am thrilled - THRILLED with that copper chain. It makes my heart happy!! it is beautiful.

That copper plated oval chain inspired me as soon as I opened the package. I gathered up the left over beads I had from the 'sand dancer' necklace and got to work. The large purple resin bead was set to be the focal of this necklace. I didn't want to take away from the beauty of the chain but use it to be the showcase for the pendant. I made a wire wrapped loop and attached a copper link to it. I packed the link with beads to add motion to the piece. Next I added a few beads up one side of the chain to help to lead your eyes to the focal.

Here, the purple resin bead as the focal, accented with green spider cubes, topaz glass druk beads, rainbow carnelian squares, Czech glass, amethyst rounds and Swarovski crystals.

While on the phone with my daughter I started this bracelet. I never make bracelets. I love the multi strand bracelets and the bulk of them. I thought the mass of the bracelet would be a nice offset to the simplicity of the necklace. I have made several of this style of bracelet but why I don't continue to do them is a mystery.

Finished off the set with a simple pair of earrings.

And of course, I am wearing them today!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Finding a Surprise - Beadin Path Design Partner

Still organizing my work room, little by little. I don't get to far, when I find something awesome I had forgot about and have to sit down and play with it.

This day was no different. I was going thru my show kit, and on a whim, hit the zippered pockets. Much to my surprise, I found a ziplock full of these little guys -

Oh wow, I remember buying them off Ebay several years ago. What am I gonna do with all these pendants? My eyes drifted toward the bag of goodies I just received from Heather at Beadin Path and those big lovely jonquil lucite beads caught my eye.

The wheels began to turn.

I picked up the tiger eye pendant, grabbed some tiger eye chips I had, and snatched up the 8mm and the 16mm jonquil lucite beads. (I'll organzie later, this is much to important!) I sat at my work table and began to push some ideas around. This just wasn't enuff. There was something missing. What can I add to it to give it a splash of color?

*think* *think*

African Opal!! Beautiful blues, like the Caribean, with brown inclusions that accent the color of the tiger eye. Topped it off with swarovski crystals and a few sterling barrels. Brilliant!!

I love this piece. I wanted it to look like the wearer was bold enough to put two necklaces together, when in all actuality, it is a double strand necklace. I may redo it, so it can be worn together or as separates.

Sand & Sea

Thanks Heather for sending out such great beads!!!