Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just for Prom

     There are very few females in my family and there's nothing I enjoy more than giving jewelry to family and friends. 
     My boys are very sweet in their encouragement of my hobby. They generously nod and smile as I try to explain the interplay of colors or what went into a design. Even though they wouldn't admit it, I sense the "I have no idea what you are talking about" look during these exchanges. I guess it's probably the same look they get from me when they try to explain the ins and outs of Super Mario Brothers.
     So, you can imagine how excited I get when someone in my family asks me to make something for them. It this time, it wasn't just for any occasion. It was for prom. 
     My niece had just bought her dress and was headed home so she brought it by. Remember, I have boys in my home. Their idea of fashion is having two pairs of jeans with which they can rotate every few days. What my niece brought over was a beautiful, pink confection very reminiscent of Cinderella's ball gown.  It had a vintage feel to it so she needed something that seemed "old", but youthful at the same time.    
     The pink of the dress was a warm tone, not baby pink. So I used Swarovski crystals in Greige and Vintage Rose. Matte Silver Toho Treasures, silver Czech glass and just a hint of grey/blue seed beads to help balance the stong pink of the dress.

     I wish I had a picture of her in her prom dress. I know she looked beautiful. How fun it was to be a part of such a special night!.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chaton Bracelet and Earrings

      I really enjoy vintage looking designs. One of the first beading books I bought was Lisa Kan's Bead Romantique. Her Ndebele Twist Band bracelet became the foundation of this bracelet. Although I like the flower center in her design, I decided to "torture" myself by creating a new center focal.
     Why do I say "torture"? Only because whenever I decide to try something new, it always takes me 4 times longer and I tear up my work at least four times before I'm done. Can you relate?
    The center is anchored on a filligree flower that gives the centerpiece stability There are lots of picot stitches. In fact, I'd get done with one round of picots and think, "It needs more floof". So another round, more floof, was added. Hopefully, I can remember how it did it all and write it down.

    This bracelet screamed, "I need earrings, too!" So here is what I came up with. These were made using 8mm chatons, 4mm crystals, and rondelles.

     I liked how they turned out, so I started playing with some different colors. The earrings below aren't quite completed yet. Instead of using rondelles, I used 3mm crystals instead. The colors are much more vibrant than in the picture.

     Now, how to finish them off? Hmm,,,,,, Blessings and happy beading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Super Duos and wire...say what?

     I was teaching a class at Bead Street one Saturday and I noticed two of my favorite people sitting off in a corner beading. This was very unusual to see because Eileen, the store owner, usually has her hands full with helping customers. Nichole, of Starman, Inc. a wholesale bead company, was also there. She not only provides our needy world with beautiful beads, but has two very curious and active toddlers. In other words, beyond busy.
     Like a curious little kitty, I went over and asked, "What are you guys doing?" Thinking to myself,  "I want to see what a master's work really looks like!" They may not see themselves that way, but I consider them in that light.
     I love looking at the works of people like Marcia De Coster and Lisa Kan, but have never had the opportunity to see their jewelry in person. It's one of the down sides to living in a small community in southern Idaho. So, like a "fan to a flame", "a child to a petting zoo", or "a gal in the throws of PMS to chocolate",  I peeked at what they were up to. They were playing with a bead shape that I was not familiar with, yet.
     Many of you are quite familiar with them. The Super Duo bead is a two-holes bead that, to me, resembles a very elongated diamond.  I put on my reading glasses to get a closer look. They were creating beaded beads using them. Oh, were they beautiful! I wish I had pictures! Hopefully, they will be able to share their designs soon.
     Because of that experience, I decided to pick some up and play with them myself. Here is my first design using Super Duos.

     Through the encouragement of several people, I submitted a bracelet design to Bead & Button and it has been selected as a project for a tentative publication in June 2013!  So, I decided to send this earring design in to be shared on the "Your Work" page in Bead & Button. They decided they wanted it for a project!
   I 'd already had planned to teach and share the pattern for these earrings, so I thought it wouldn't be possible to publish them. The editors at Bead & Button have been so accommodating with me and that is why you get to see then now. I will also make the pattern available for purchase very soon. Please e-mail me if you would like one. This pattern is tentatively planned for publication in the August 2013 edition of Bead & Button Magazine, as well.
     I've had so much fun playing with different colors, so I'm posting some combinations I came up with.  
     The design above and just below were made using Twins. They are very similar to the Super Duos. The shape of the Twins aren't as elongated and in my opinion, aren't as consistent. Still, the earrings look great.
     More pictures can be found at Bead Street from a class that I taught. They all came up with beautiful color combinations!
     If you haven't worked with these beads yet, I encourage you to give it a try!  Happy Fall and happy beading!
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