Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Time to Stitch Five

Today's the day people! It's here, it's here! What? Well, the reveal for A Time to Stitch, of course!
This is one of my very favorite challenges, and it is run by the awesome Therese Frank and Christine Altmiller.
So this challenge was to take one stitch, and make 3 identical pieces, changing either the size, or the color of the beads.
I chose flat herringbone, it's one of my favorite stitches for it versatility. I took this challenge one step further, and used silver-lined, opaque, and matte finishes as well as the three different colors. I guess I cheated a bit, because I also used a silver metallic in each of the bracelets, and a coordinating size 15 for the edge beads.
I really love how they turned out, and I hope you do as well!
I found these awesome buttons to use as my clasps.

I am so thrilled to see the differences in each bracelet.

Because of the silver lining on the purple bead, this one has an overall shiny look, and you don't see the pattern as much.

 This one has such a dainty look, and the button fit perfectly with that feel. The matte finish really allows the pattern to stand out.

 I adore this one! The opaque beads show off the pattern so well, and that mother of pearl button has just the tiniest hint of  green in it. I was working on this one while not at home, and there were lots of distractions around. So....it was a bit short. But the longer clasp looks fine when it's on, and I love how I ended up creating it. I will definitely use the technique again. After stringing enough beads to fit around the button, I strung 16 more. Then I square stitched the last 8 to the first 8, and embellished the top with a tiny 15. Worked great!

Just like the bracelets themselves, each loop showed off the personality of the bracelet.

 Yep, these three girls are stars of the show around here! Thanks for joining me on this wonderful challenge. 
Now you get to see the rest of the participants!

Therese               Our wonderful hostesses!

Shirley     You are here!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

It's a Chicklet kind of day....

Do you enjoy blogging challenges? I am quite addicted to them!
There are some that just fill me with joy...Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party, Therese and Christine's Time to Stitch, and pretty much anything Rita (Toltec Jewels) decides to host!
Rita has a new one, and I'm so very excited I get to participate!! It features the wonderful work of SueBeads!!! I know, right? Sue makes beautiful lampwork beads, and I have yet to play with any of them, so I'm thrilled to be in this challenge.

This is a new shape Sue has created, called Chicklets. They are just adorable, and I can't wait to get mine and start playing. The list is full, but I'm sure you could play along if you already have some of these cuties. And if you don't, why not head to Sue's shop? And pick up two or three or a dozen...
Stay tuned for more excitement throughout the summer, as I kick my loom and kumihimo disc into high gear!
Blessings, Shirley

Saturday, May 10, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

Welcome to the reveal!!! If you've not heard of the Bead Soup Blog Party, brainchild of Lori Anderson, you can check out all the details here.
This is a huge blog hop, over 500 reveals, so I will keep it short and sweet. Well, for me anyway...
My partner, Rebekah Payne, of TreeWingStudios, is an incredibly talented polymer clay artist. She also creates some fantastic leather goodies, which I am so lucky to get to play with one of her newest styles!
Just a quick remind of my fab soup...
 A softly romantic bead palette. Not my usual style! 

 And my oh-so-fab focal and clasp.
The rules state that you are only required to use these babies...but, of course, I was in happy land with all my other goodies!

My daughter was very involved in this Bead Soup. She requested a specific style for the necklace. I had created a necklace for a Seam Binding Challenge for Artisan Whimsy in an asymmetrical style. Half kumihimo braid, half filled netting. Let's see what you think....
 Soft and delicate. Yes, I'm so going to wear this Sunday for Mother's Day!

 I wove a short strip of chenille stitch to connect the two ropes. The netted section has part of the soft burgundy print fabric inside, while the kumihimo is braided with one strand of 4mm lavender AB firepolish beads, chocolate bamboo yarn, and burgundy sparkle yarn.

I am so stoked over these coiled wire ends! If you want to make some of your own, head over to the Cerebral Dilettante for the tutorial.

Next up is actually the piece I created first. I've recently become obsessed  enamored of loomwork. I knew when I saw that strand of fabric covered beads that Rebekah's mom had stitched, that I wanted it to be in a loomed cuff. I had an absolute blast creating this cuff.
Soft and romantic again, with those fire polish beads showing up in the dangling fringe, and some of the new brick beads in the mix as well. I used hex beads in a metallic iris to create loops to hold the fabric rope in the cuff, and a simple RAW edging for the top. The clasp is from The Beading Room, and the wide ribbon crimps are from Twilight Fancy.

Isn't that a beautiful clasp?Sorry, I couldn't help modeling it. Just ignore the freckles, k?

This last piece I just finished last night. Not because I was running late, but because I didn't think I was going to be able to do justice to Rebekah's heirloom buttons, so I had decided I would create something later. But they just kept talking to me....so this is what happened.
I had enough of the fabric left to create a soft cuff.

Flat netting this time, in a soft matte amber, accented with metallic Czech seed beads and edged with a buttermilk cream to pick up the color of the buttons. And I got to use one of Rebekah's rose petal beads as the closure!

 I used the Czech rondelles Rebekah sent as the toppers for the buttons. This cuff is super soft, and oh-so-special to me. It will be a sweet memory of her precious gift, and this fabulous blog hop!

There were several things I didn't get to incorporate, like the petal beads, and the MOP chips. Rest assured, they will be used! As will this little guy that I beaded for the fabric cuff, then decided it didn't work.
 I've got a couple of ideas brewing, but for now, have fun hopping!
And a huge thank you to my partner Rebekah, and to Lori Anderson for such a wonderful experience!!!

Here's the link for the participants:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Check her out...my Bead Soup partner!

Yes, it's almost time for the reveal, and I totally forgot to show y'all what I got!
I have been so blessed to be partnered with Rebekah Payne of TreeWings Studios. Rebekah is an artist extraordinaire! She creates the most awesome polymer clay pieces, in addition to some seriously cool leather and wire pieces.
Rebekah really sent some very cool pieces for me to play with....wanna see?

The most gorgeous packaging!

Can you believe all that coolness?

 The stars of the show, handmade clasp and leather/polymer clay focal. Isn't that just the dreamiest focal??

I adore the mother of pearl button on the clasp. And do you see the little polymer clay rose on the button? Sweet!

 Super excited about this...Rebekah's mom hand stitched the material around EACH bead in this strand!!!

Antique buttons from her grandmother, czech rondelles, and mother of pearl chips!!

 A swirly brass big hole bead, some cool petal beads, and more of Rebekah's polymer clay roses.

Yes, this is a seriously romantic bead soup! I've been very busy playing in it, and hope you'll come back May 3rd to see what I've created! Blessings, Shirley

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Color of Dreams Blog Hop

I'm so very thrilled and excited to show you what I've created for this special hop! Rita, better known as Toltec Jewels, invited us to participate in a very special challenge. She generously shared a gorgeous art bead with each of us, created by the awesomely talented Patricia Handschuh.
I'm telling you, I was quite the little happy camper when I opened the package. Patricia creates very intricate patterns in these beads. Here's the shot of the beads that Rita mailed out to us.

Simply a riot of happiness, right? It was fairly easy for me to decide what I wanted to create...just a matter of getting it all done. I really went right to the wire with this one, which means that I had to take the pics last night, rather than in daylight. I'll be out most of the day Sunday, but I am going to add daylight pics to the post later.
The bead was small enough that I could have created a bracelet with it, but I decided I wanted a necklace. Specifically, a set of necklaces. I chose to create a trio of lariats, with the bead taking center stage as the closure.
I had so much fun just playing around with different styles, beads, and techniques with this challenge. So, surprisingly, one of the ropes is a simple string of beads. But it worked, and taught me that simple can still have a big impact. The second rope is a kumihimo braid with a matte orange accent bead. The threads used for it were a variegated yarn, white crochet thread, and two strands of matte ab orange beads.
The third rope is a twisted RAW that has a pretty, delicate spring look to it. Which is rather funny, because it has in-your-face hot pink, and metallic green beads in it! That's one of the coolest parts about playing with beads for me...all the endless combinations of colors and styles.
Here's a shot of the focal bead. I surrounded it with an alternating square of CRAW. 

I love how different the strands are, and yet they pick up all the gorgeous colors in the bead. The ropes can be worn alone, or together, with the clasp or not, which makes it so very versatile.

Here's a closeup of the individual strands. I'm really loving all the subtle color changes in the kumihimo braid from the variegated yarn.
Thank you Rita, for sharing Patricia's beads with us. I'm so happy to have found another source for beads, and thrilled with where this challenge took me. Please go visit all the other participants in this wonderful challenge! Blessings, Shirley

Honorary Artist: Patricia Handschuh
Patricia's blog:            The Color of Dreams        
Patricias Etsy:             The Color of Dreams
Hostess: TJ                Jewel School Friends
Kay Thomerson           KayzKreationz
Audrey Belanger          Toki No Hourousha

Alicia Marinache          All the Pretty Things
Terry Carter                TappingFlamingo
Lori Schneider             Bead Addict
Jenny Kyrlach             Wonder and Whimsy
Asri Wahyuingsih         Asri's Beadwork
Dini Bruinsma              Angaza by Changes
Karla Morgan              Texas Pepper Jams
Debbie Rasmussen        A Little of This, A Little of That
Veralynne Malone          Designed by Vera
Kathy Stemke               Vintage Memories Jewelry Design
Mowse Doyle               Mowse Made This
Heather Richter             Desert Jewelry Designs
Lori Poppe                   Adventures in Creativity with LorilliJean

Jayne Capps                Mama's Got To Doodle
Andrea Glick                Zenith Jade Creations
Kathleen Breeding         99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Becky Pancake             Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Karin Martinez              Fairies Market
Miranda Ackerley          Mirandack

Penny Houghton           Smelly Nelly
Carolyn Lawson           Carolyn's Creations
Chris Eisenberg            Wanderware
Christie Murrow          Charis Designs Jewelry
Monique Urquhart        A Half-Baked Notion
Eve Shelby                  Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Cryss Thain                 Here Bead Dragons
Jasvanti Patel               Jewelry By Jasvanti
Nan Smith                   NanMade Handmade Jewelry
Sue Kennedy               SueBeads
Jean Yates                   Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Debbie Rogers             Debbies Treasures
Marybeth Rich             A Few Words From Within the Pines
Shirley Moore              Beads and Bread
Shaia Williams             Shaiha's Ramblings
Kathy Lindemer           Bay Moon Design
Linda Anderson           From the Bead Board
Judy Turner               Silver Rains
Gloria Allen                Gloria Allen Designs
Regina Wood              Ginas-Design
Robin Reed                Artistry HCBD
Mary Goovars            MLH Jewelry Designs
Marlene Cupo             Amazing Designs
CJ Bauschka              4 His Glory Creations
Robin Showstack        The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Cynthia O'Toole          Sparkles and Sweets

Jael Thorp                 Jael's Art Jewels
Renetha Stanziano      Lamplight Crafts

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Clean Up Fix Up Blog Hop

I know, right? Who wants to clean, when you can design?? Well, apparently, I was a bit over the top in the messy department...
Anyway, I guess there are a lot of us out there, because when Sharyl first posted about cleaning up, a boatload of folks agreed to do it too! Ok, I'm sure y'all have more exciting things to do than see my messy space, but I do understand...
It's kinda like a train wreck, you just can't stop yourself from looking...

This is the school desk. You can see I've taken over one spot, and am inching my way towards the second seat as well.

This is the bead desk my hubs created for me from a tv armoire. That back board did have 3 shelves to hold my seed beads, but since he used nail glue, my beads overpowered them and two of the shelves fell. Cause beads have superpowers. 

 This is the 'general crafts'/grain buckets/empty shipping boxes/homeschool resource section. See why it's exhausted trying to stay clean??

Ok, so I didn't get everything cleaned, but hey, I'm rather thrilled with what I did get, so there. 
 You seein' this??!!! Not a BEAD in sight!! Totally weird, right?

This is a special corner of my desk. The bead frog and the angel were made by my daughter, and the awesome sheep is a gift from Cooky Schock. It is a special gift from The Shepherdess store, precious to me since the store is now closed.

My spools of fireline, clon, needles and glue. And basket of stones for photos. For some strange reason, that basket of stones is very calming to glance at, which is why it is on my desk.

My tool holder, wire holder, and empty tubes and boxes holder. Hey, it works, ok?

The school desk is looking better, and I've definitely stepped back to just the one spot, but I didn't get to touch the other area of the room. You know, that catchall side? Well, I'm still a happy girl over my EMPTY desk!!!!
K, go head off and see what everyone else accomplished. Blessings, Shirley

Participant List:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Are You Ready to Bead Soup???

 My first Bead Soup Blog Party My first Bead Soup Blog Party

It's getting exciting around here! Some of the participants have been matched up. I love the anticipation of waiting to hear who my partner will be, and that first email!
If you've not heard of the Bead Soup Blog Party, please check out some of my past entries, and for more info, please check out Lori Anderson's blog. Lori started this blog party several years ago, and really had no idea it would take off like it has. To my knowledge, there is not another blog hop that is quite this big in the beading world. I attribute the success of it to Lori herself. Not only is she a fantastic designer, but her caring heart shines through in absolutely everything she does. Throughout her struggles over the past year with health issues, she has continued to be present and accounted for in her blog, her facebook, and her inspiration. I know I would not do half as well handling all that she has, and still want to host this great Blog Party.

 One of my favorite pieces.

I've grown as a designer each time I've participated, and glue myself to the chair on reveal day, hopping from one blog to another. I cut and paste the list to a word document, and highlight each blog, or comment to go back later.
You will always have folks that sign up, and then don't participate. It's really a bummer, but it does happen. Then there are computer glitches, life events that overtake us, etc.
I love reading about the process of designing the pieces, sometimes more than the piece itself. Ugly? I don't really feel that way, since I don't expect everyone to like beadweaving either. What I do appreciate is their effort and commitment to the challenge.

Ok, I still have a bit of cleaning to do before my reveal tomorrow for Sharyl's Clean Up, Fix Up Blog Hop. See ya tomorrow! Blessings, Shirley