Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

These posts are my personal wanderings - I know there are many, many more bead/jewelry and associated crafts blogs out there, but these are the ones I visit every day via my Google Reader. If you have a favorite blog I'm not mentioning, let me know and I'll start visiting (and linking!) it, too.

A Bead A Day - this week has featured the Rings & Things blog partner goodies Lisa received. Starting with piles of pearls on Monday, featuring Electric Sparkle on Wednesday and her clever creations with them on Saturday.

Ahtee's blog -Rose's week featured lovely earrings, window shopping and "Romance in Brass"

Beading Gem's Journal - lots of great posts (as always!) this week, but I think my favorite one was about the pop-out jewelry - what a cool idea!

*New!* The Cerebral Dilettante - featured on the Ornamentea blog Shiny Little Things (a regular in the Supplier Blogs, below) last week, check out her fascinating designs!

Deez News - Davinia has a necklace in Australian Beading Magazine and talks about a dynamic designer.

ErtheFae - check out the beautiful necklaces this week - The Sun Spirals Ever Onward, and The Hungriest Pixie Ever.

Just A Tish - If you visit one post on one blog this weekend, visit this one: Share Your Wares and get in on some cool bead swapping! Then, check out the great pieces Tish has created with her Rings & Things blog partner goodies: Not Nanny's Necklace, Shell Pendant Design, and Blue Note.

Lampwork Diva - Cindy got her Rings & Things goodies, too which inspired her Slash of Blue necklace.

Livewire Jewelry - mixed metal bracelet comprised of beads and bits with special meaning.

Margot Potter - my favorite posts this week were the crocheted wire and crystal necklace, and how to write and publish a craft book, pt 1, but her thoughts on social media sites are very interesting and thought provoking.

Pretty Things - eye candy over on her other blog, An Artist's Year Off plus where to find more of her work to admire (I'll give you a hint, it's Flickr).

Shoozle's Wear Your Art! - I really love these mini glass graffiti walls she's made - look forward to seeing how they can be used in jewelry.

Silver Parrot - fascinating idea: lost in space necklace, she's got her Rings & Things goodies, too, double the bead porn, this week with posts on Wednesday and Friday.

Something Pacific Northwest - looking for a spring inspiration? Check out the colors on this beautiful tree! I'll be visiting with the blogger in April and am looking forward to seeing in person some of the beautiful spots she's featured on her blog.

Willow Walker - gorgeous black and silver dichroic fused glass earrings, and more glass cab designs with 22k gold decals.

Alpha Stamps - lots of great items and ideas for mixed media spring designs

Artbeads - Swarovski spring innovations coming soon, spring/summer fashion trends, St. Patrick's Day sale (thru March 4th)

The Beadin' Path - featuring JustATish! and Dara's Beadditudes: Spring Earrings

Daily Bead Buzz - Happy First Anniversary!, beading contest winners

Earthenwood Studios Blog - Melanie supplies great art beads she makes herself, but she's also a Rings & Things blog partner, too!

Friendly Plastic - Zentangle and Zentgangle how to video

Ornamentea - customer's lovely necklace

Rings & Things - a guest *ahem* blogger, bead soup party to correspond with the Rings & Things show in San Antonio, and a new season of the Bead Tour: "Bead Frenzy"

SoftFlexGirl - featuring Cindy Lietz, polymer clay tutor, Sara's new beads, and new books.

Also, if you follow* this blog, you'll never miss the weekly wanderings because you forgot to check - I'll be delivered right to your reader or Blogger dashboard every day!

*Look up at the uppermost left hand side of this page - see the boxes that say "search blog" "flag blog" and "follow blog" - just click the "follow blog" box!

Hope you have a great week - see you tomorrow!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere (is back!)

Another lovely week out there in the Beadosphere, even when it's snowing or raining like crazy outside the window, it's warm and bright on every blog.

These posts are my personal wanderings - I know there are many, many more bead/jewelry and associated crafts blogs out there, but these are the ones I visit every day via my Google Reader. If you have a favorite blog I'm not mentioning, let me know and I'll start visiting (and linking!) it, too.

A Bead A Day - it's always hard to keep from linking to each post over at Lisa's! I've been trying to incorporate a knitted (or net) wire ribbon into a necklace I'm making, so I'll link to her post about it, but you should always check in every day, if only to start the day off with a smile!

Ahtee's blog - Rose (who leaves the most wonderful and encouraging comments here - thanks!) shares her beautiful glass pearl necklace/bracelet set, some cool purple pillar earrings and check out the watercolor sketchbook she made for her boyfriend - lucky guy!

Beading Arts - I think you'll agree that Cyndi's lavish beaded collar with Artbeads CZs is breathtaking!

Beading Gem's Journal - My favorites of the week were easy chainmaille earrings, square tile mother of pearl beads, making prong cabochon settings using wire wrapping techniques

Deez News - Davinia's copy of Lisa's A Bead in Time book has arrived, she's gone "girly and glam" with some new designs, too. Because I haven't posted a wandering in a while there are a lot of previous week's posts you should check - more gorgeous grungeboard and wallpaper earrings (the pair with the swirly gunmetal scrapbook paperclips as an embellishment are my favorites!), a fabulous find for $2, and more. I hope you've followed her blog!

ErtheFae - check out the entire week's posts about her RenFaire trip and admire the cool headpiece she made to match her outfit!

Jeanette Blix - patinaed brass ribcage earrings and a riveted spinner ring in copper - very cool and inspirational, too - I really want to try making more cold connection pieces. I guess a trip to the hardware store isn't out of the question...

Just A Tish - Lisa from A Bead a Day and Tish do a swap, Tish answers the challenge, and Tish uses Artbeads furnace glass in a new, beautiful, creation.

Just Something I've Made - a fabulous mega measuring tape growth chart how-to from a vintage cloth measuring tape.

Lampwork Diva - Cindy goes bead shopping in Toronto and features the Art Bead Scene Blog Carnival.

Livewire Jewelry - beautiful paper/mixed media crafts and a bit of jewelry were featured this week

Margot Potter - Margot's thoughts about sharing ideas on our blogs and seeing them appropriated without permission is a worthwhile read. Check out the cool collars and hat she made with a Knifty Knitter, too.

Pretty Things - Lori shares good ideas for bringing in the readers

Shoozle's Wear Your Art! - showing off a dozen adorable post earrings

Silver Parrot - I really look forward to Friday at Silver Parrot, who could help but drool over the bead porn? Then there's the stellar (pardon the pun) necklace she made featuring a dramatic lampwork focal from a Bastille Bleu bead.

Willow Walker - St. Patrick's day is coming up and these gorgeous emerald green earrings would make the leprechauns give up the gold! While each pair is beautiful on this post, I'm very fond of the gleaming white ones. I don't often plug stores here, but you should really visit her ArtFire shop and see the gorgeous work she does there. And, great news, her comments are working again!

Artbeads - You can pre-order your Use the Muse IV kits now at Artbeads, inexpensive Metallite metalized plastic from Zamba Pro are available at Artbeads.

The Beadin' Path - be sure to check back frequently to the Design Partner Blogs feature (Tish was featured recently!) Dara's Weekly Beadditude about showcasing vintage jewelry is a good read, too.

Earthenwood Studios Blog - check out their pieces in the Ice Resin Blog Hop, especially this one featuring some darling Rings & Things charms.

Friendly Plastic - Cool2Craft live interactive web tv event featuring a how to with Friendly Plastic, also check out the fun charm swap!

Ornamentea - a bit of a cheat, since it was from the week before last, but in my opinion, you simply *must* read the story of these "freaky fish" beads.

Rings & Things - a "snappy logo" you can use when linking to Rings & Things and some of the best craft tips from Twitter and Facebook followers of Rings & Things.

SoftFlexGirl - Lisa from A Bead a Day is showing up *everywhere* - check out her designs with SoftFlex featured on their blog, free project ideas, and Jamie Hogsett's piece in Margie Deeb's Spring Color Report

Also, if you follow* this blog, you'll never miss the weekly wanderings because you forgot to check - I'll be delivered right to your reader or Blogger dashboard every day!

*Look up at the uppermost left hand side of this page - see the boxes that say "search blog" "flag blog" and "follow blog" - just click the "follow blog" box!

Hope you have a great week - see you tomorrow!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Index of Valentine's Day Projects 2010

Back in January of 2010 I created a series of Valentine's Day projects. This post indexes each project with a link, description and supplier links, where possible.

Vintage style, red jasper hearts with gunmetal chain and filigree from Rings & Things.

Idea #2
Cute lampwork glass heart bead in light pink with a white cross-hatching from Rings & Things, plus various pink glass hearts and glass pearls.

Idea #3
Bracelet from Rings & Things lampwork beads and two small black glass beads to keep the headpins from slipping through the rather large holes, on memory wire (the link takes you to a gold-tone wire, I used silver-tone, purchased at Michael's) covered with rubber tubing.

Idea #4
Earrings with Rings & Things red faceted glass crystals and silver plated bulk chain, also from Rings & Things

Idea #5
Lanyard/necklace with Beadalon Square Knot links and Beadalon Quick Links ovals.

Idea #6
Bracelet with CRYSTALLIZED™ Swarovski Elements red coral bicones, Bordeaux Swarovski Crystal Pearls from Jewelry around complimentary matte and clear glass rivoli's I found at The Bead Store in Redondo Beach last June when I was visiting my family. The spacers are gold vermeil daisies from Artbeads.

Idea #7
Lavender glass hearts from Global Beads and red glass hearts and silver heart lobster claw clasps from, in a lanyard necklace

Idea #8
Red rose on black cabochon from AlphaStamps set in a beaded edge silver pendant setting from Accessories Susan's Vintage Jewelry Supplies on a sheer black ribbon pre-made choker necklace from Michael's.

Idea #9

Idea #10
Gunmetal beading chain from Rings & Things, ruby red glass beads (unlabeled in stash, no clue about supplier(s), but I think I picked them all up at Michael's so they'd be Bead Gallery strands and Blue Moon mix beads) in an illusion style necklace.

Idea #11

Idea #12
I used two types of gunmetal chains, plus oval solid links and some wrapped loops to connect various CRYSTALLIZED™ Swarovski elements in this lariat style necklace. I got the beads from a number of suppliers, the ring and the twist are from Artbeads, the chessboard beads from A Grain of Sand. The square component and the heart from Rings & Things

I had to do some color manipulation in the picture to make all the beads the same color, since I didn't actually have a couple of the pieces in Crystal Red Magma, the original square and heart beads are Vitrail, temporarily, as placeholders until I can order the proper color replacements.

Idea #13
Rhodonite beads and a Rhodonite heart pendant with silver beads and a silver heart toggle on medium Premium Satin Silver SoftFlex. You can find the Rhodonite heart pendant and heart toggle at The silver roundel beads and round beads are from Artbeads. The other Rhodonite beads were purchased at my local bead store, Global Beads.

Idea #14
This one took me many tries, and probably a foot of copper wire, to finally get three closely matched hammered hearts for this necklace. I added some rough faceted garnet drops and round garnet beads from my stash, for a bit of color. The chain was something I either picked up at Michael's or, and more probably, now that I think about it, came from a Rings & Things blog partner package. To match the look of the chain, I used walnut stain Distress Ink and jet black Archival Ink. I'll probably need to coat it with something so it won't wear off - will have to do some research to determine the best product.

Idea #15
Garnet glass bead and copper hearts necklace with copper spacers with loops from I threw in a few Bordeaux Swarovski glass pearls as well. The bead caps are ornate Tierra Cast copper.

Idea #16
Vintage/romantic style bracelet with ornate copper bead caps, gold Swarovski pearls, Crystal Copper Swarovski 6mm bicones and large faceted carnelian beads. The bead caps are Tierra Cast copper plated pewter.

Idea #17
Dark amber color glass heart beads from a mix purchased in Santa Monica at Beadniks , and gold plated heart shaped toggles I had in my stash from who knows where.

Idea #18
Inspired by a left over length of the copper chain I had used in Idea #14. It was just the right size for a bracelet, so I pulled out some copper bead caps, a copper heart toggle and grabbed my box of pink glass beads. I'd completely forgotten about some small pink hearts and the last of the Rings & Things blog partner lampwork heart beads which I'd put in the same box, so those became the inspiration beads. I wrapped the hearts and other pink glass beads with antiqued copper wires and the fancy copper caps, and used some lovely iridescent coated dark pink matte beads for accents.

Bonus Valentine's Day Necklace
Meanwhile, although my official Valentine's Day projects were done, as one of the Artbeads Blogging for Beads partners, I got the opportunity to choose from a specific set of their beads to use for review or design purposes.

I created the necklace in a symmetrical pattern, added a little heart glass dangle bead and a beaded wire bail. The bail was very easy to make - just wrap the center of a length of wire add a bead to the wire left over at each side, create a wrapped loop and trim after each bead.

The way I made the necklace was to string and finish each side using scrimps and at one end looping the beading wire (SoftFlex medium satin silver) through the wire wrapped bail. At the other end I put the clasp findings.

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