Beautiful Sparkley

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Here's my latest project.

I'm really enjoying having all of these beautiful new seed beads to work with.  I've reached a point now where I have so many fabulous beads in all sizes, shapes and colors that ideas and inspiration come pretty quickly when I'm in the studio.

I've been making a lot of Right Angle Weave & herringbone bracelets and wanted to work on a choker.

I made Two strips of herringbone weave from the Gold Lined Crystal Rainbow bugles and the Gold Lustered African Sunset cubes.  Then I connected them at an angle by attaching a Right Angle Weave medallion I made from the same bugles and the Dark Brass 11o TOHOs.  I embellished the medallion with some beads from my private stash - there are some 3mm Swarovski topaz beads, some big FW pearls in a bronze/yellow color, some 4mm metallic carmine red firepolish beads and a little metallic gold magatama.  (Trust me - if I find a wholesaler for that bead, I'll put in the shop straight away!)  I also embellished the "corners" of the RAW with tiny picots of the Silver Lined Rosaline Pink 15o beads.

I haven't figured out a clasp yet.  Molly wants me to put snaps on so the clasp would be invisible but I don't like that idea - it wouldn't be adjustable and I think that even if I custom sized it for a customer, they would want to be able to wear it with a bare neck or over a turtleneck so I need to design a clasp that allows for some variation in snugness.  I really should have used a wide link chain and a hook clasp (maybe?)  but I misjudged the length of my herringbone strips and they are pretty long.

I think a toggle clasp with some tassels or other weight to pull the back down will be nice.  I want the herringbone to lay flat against the neck and not curl or twist as it goes around the neck so it sort of needs to lie at an angle both in front and at back.  A tassel or other weighted clasp in the back will accomplish this nicely and add some interest in the back in case someone wants to wear it with a backless dress.

I think there will be about 10 hours total in it when it is finished.

Here are some bracelets I've been working with.  I really am loving these bugles for Right Angle Weave.  They work up fairly quickly and have lots of sparkle.

The Purple one used Higher Metallic Grape and Rainbow Iris bugles along with some teeny traingles that I've had in my stash for a few years. The toggle for the clasp is made with bugles in ladder stitch.  I like that much better than 11o peyote stitch tubes.

The bottom one was made with Matte Purple Iris bugles and the Crystal Rose Gold Lined cubes.  You can see here how well those cubes sparkle!  The clasp is another - much smaller - RAW medallion.

Hopefully, I will get a chance to work up some tutorials this summer.  Our kitchen is almost finished (or at least, the first and most important half of the room is almost done!) so Hopefully I will be able to organize my household a little better in the next couple of weeks and have more time to draw diagrams and photograph processes!

I also want to try some double St. Petersburg stitch bracelets and necklaces.  Mortitra has a terrific tutorial on Double St. Petersburg over at Inspirational Beading.


Too Many Labels?

5:42 PM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
So a few days ago I was looking at my label index on my blog. 

It is over 150 items long. 

That's too much, right?

I need to go through and pare it down a bit - make categories broader and with less overlap and confusion.  Maybe I'll get to that one of these days. 

How many do you think is enough without being too much?  25?  40? 

Gah!  I'm no good at reduction.

Time to wash the dishes, I guess. 

(That great photo up top?  Molly took that last year at haying time.  The same field is being mowed this week - it was re-seeded last fall and they expect a thousand bales from it!!)

Bronze & Brown

4:52 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
Time for designers and crafters  to think about autumn colors!

More New Beads!!!

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Bronze & Aqua Herringbone
New Seed beads arrived Wednesday!

I finally got them photographed - just need to figure out the per-gram price and get them listed in my shop.

They are so wonderful.  I made this lovely herringbone bracelet with Bronze Bugles and Gold Lined Mate Aqua 11's.  ( I also discovered that I either need a wrist model or a Photoshop genius - my wrists are just become too wrinkly and furry to look enticing in a product photo.)

Higher Metallic Frosted Copper Twilight

I've got lots of really yummy earthy neutrals/metallics this time and some new shapes.

I've been wanting some of these copper twilight beads for YEARS but never felt bold enough to shell out the cash for them.  They are pricey but my wholesaler had a special going this month so here they are!

Gold Lustered African Sunset 1.5mm cubes

These little cubes are wonderful.  I used to think I didn't like cubes but that was because I had only used the larger ones.  They are pretty limited because of their size and shape but these tiny cubes are wonderful.

Grey & Gold - see how those cubes shimmer?!

My current favorite technique is to use them with bugles in Right Angle Weave bracelets.  The gold  lined ones I bought  (aqua, rainbow crystal and inside color rose gold lined)  are particularly amazing chamelions.   They either recede into the background of the design, allowing the bugles to take center stage or - depending on how the light hits them - flare up and look as if they are shining hundreds of tiny beacons from your wrist!  (Here's one in progress!)

I liked the gold lined aqua 15o beads I bought last time so much that I expanded that color a bit - 1.5mm cubes, 11o and 8o size beads help round it out.   (These tiny blue cubes look amazing with matte iris purple bugles.)

Matte Iris Gray
One thing that always irks me about buying seed beads is that colors can be  . . . less than perfectly rendered on a monitor or a photograph.  (I suspect that lots of sellers shift the saturation balance - those colors are in there but are so subtle as to be almost invisible without a little photoshop "boost")

These beads are Matte Iris Brown which look much more iridescent if you see them on just about any other bead shop's website.  I was really excited about them because they just looked so rainbow-y online.  I was very disappointed when I opened them.  But they are growing on me.  If I forget that I was expecting a muted oil slick effect and accept them as wonderfully subtle, soft grey beads that have a slight hint of of an iridescent gleam, they are great.  I used these bugles with gold cubes in that bracelet sample above. 

Iris Purple Bugle
Silver Lined Mauve Pink 11o

Metallic Purple Bugle

 And I suspect that they will pair amazingly well with these Iris bugles.

And - of course, I bought a few knock-your-socks-off bright colors.

The plan is to have all of these up in my Luna's Baublebilities shop by mid-week this week.

Don't forget that I've got great coupons going on for July.  Just check the side bar.

15% off everything on orders over $20.00 for Luna's Baublebilities.

And 20% off Custom Order Scarves or Free Shipping over at Goblins' Market.

Stay Sparkley!


Thinking About Color and Kitchens

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As previously mentioned, I have 54 yards of silk waiting to be dyed in my studio.  I haven't been able to keep the kitchen studio sink clean long enough to mix up some chemical water to get started.  Maybe this weekend?  Next week?

We're undergoing some serious upheavals in the kitchen in preparation for cupboards coming on the 16th.  They aren't the cupboards of my dreams but I sure am fantasizing about them.  No more dusty spice bottles!  A place to put glasses and plates and bowls and food!

Plus, I get a real kitchen sink & a dishwasher and my studio sink becomes mine - all mine!

It's going to be awesome.

I think I recall that the map to a real kitchen includes a detour through Hades, though.

I need to be patient.

I have beads coming next week, too.  I'm very excited about them. Many of them will mesh well with Pantone's Fall 2011 color forecast.  These are yummy colors.  (But I think I want to hang onto this summer's aquas & teals, too.)

What is this Blog about, anyway?

12:06 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
I ask myself that a lot.  This month's blog carnival for BlogFire has an open-ended "introduce you blog" sort of theme that has had me thinking about what this blog is all about.

Presumably, this blog is about the running of my business - though relatively few posts actually deal with businessy stuff.  It has really become more of a mish-mash of stuff from my life.

There's stuff about my family, including some interesting posts about adoption, toddler adoption and infertility.

I have a few tutorials, a little information about tools and helps for managing books, some blathering about storage and studio issues, a few tidbits about the new house which I mostly stopped posting about here because we (I) started up the Beorningstead blog (which NO ONE else has bothered to post about in spite of giving the two other literate persons in the household administrative rights to the blog.) 

I also like to post about projects I'm working on and new supplies.  (I'm getting a BIG shipment of more beads next week!!!)

If you spend some time fumbling through my tag index, (right down there -the the left), you might find something interesting.  Or you might just notice that this is the blog of a highly disorganized,  easily distracted artist/mom with at least a touch of ADHD who hops from project to project & topic to topic and hasn't learned how to impose order or consistency upon any aspect of her life.  (boy - do I need to clean up my tags!)

Yup.  That pretty much sums it up.  Thanks for visiting!
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