Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brick Stitch Inspiration

     I never thought I would learn so much about myself when I began beading a few years ago. I suspect I'm not the only beader out there that has thought about this. It doesn't hurt that most beading projects, especially stitching, take hours to complete giving me time to process life.
     I'm not going to get all philosophical on ya'll.  I tend to think way too deeply naturally. What I've discovered about myself, is how motivated by food I am.  Many of my color choices have been made because I was craving something yummy. 
     Here is the perfect example.  I made this cuff before I saw the cover of last months Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.

      Look at this cake! I need a bucket for my drool and I haven't even mentioned delicate buttercream frosting surrounding moist, strawberry cake layers!  Be still my beating heart.

     This cuff was made using brick stitch with cylinder and round seed beads.  Czech fire-polish beads create the center to bead around and add a bit of fringe around the bracelet. If only it tasted as good as a gourmet four layered cake!
     This is such a fun design to experiment with color and texture.  Here are some other fun color combinations.  Triangles as well as 6/0, 11/0, 15/0, and cylinder beads were used in these cuffs.

Update: This pattern is now available in my ETSY shop .  Blessings and happy beading!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vintage Button Earrings

     Have you ever had a bead "speak" to you?  This happened to me when my friend and button enthusiast, Lisa Stephens, showed me these vintage floral buttons. I love the vivid spring colors and cheerful design.  Since they are small, they really needed to be shown off somehow. 
     Lisa often gives me buttons to create designs around.  She knows I thrive under a good challenge and always gives me interesting buttons to experiment with.  She has way too much faith in me! One of my first designs for her is the bracelet in my header.

     What do you think?  My wirework is a bit rough, but not bad for my first time. I have to admit I broke a cardinal rule in making these. I skipped working with practice wire and went straight to sterling silver.
      There isn't any good reason for my lapse in judgement. I can only say it was similar to the first time I went off the diving board as a young girl. Seriously, why start on the lowest board when the high dive was the ultimate goal?! It took all of three seconds and a nose full of chlorinated water after that dive to understand why!  So, now, I practice... and practice some more with craft wire before using any precious metal. 

     Here are another set of vintage buttons.  The wirework looks a little better.  This picture doesn't do these buttons any justice ... or it could just be my over Forty eyesight! 
   There are so many unique small buttons, but because of their size, they are often only used as closures for bracelets or necklaces.  Using them as the "show stoppers" in earrings is a great alternative. And, the shanks are perfect for anchoring wire work.

     The color of these new Czech buttons is so vibrant.  The beautiful leaf motif really set the design for these earrings. Again, the shanks were used to anchor the wire and wrap the design around these buttons. The wirework is getting better!  There's hope for me yet!

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