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Friday, March 6, 2020

Pink Abalone Shell Buttons!

 Remember my mission to kit ALL THE BEADS?  I am in an interesting stage in my life, and trying to clean up all my messes.  This was a really pretty one to clean!

When I designed and wrote the tutorial for "A Hazy Shade of Winter" I got out all the stick pearls I owned, and imagined that I would use them for future "rare-just-a-few-of-a-kind" kits for this project.  I am now in the process of trying to clear all those trays and boxes of collected bits, and to focus on finding the perfect finishing touches.  I am really happy to be releasing 5 of these kits on Saturday, March 7th to noon CST.  I MAYBE will have one more, depending on whether an order I placed will arrive with enough supporting beads for one final kit.  When these are gone, there will be no more. Edited to say, the beads that arrived were a paler pink, so I made that last kit up for myself.  I LOVE it.  Very delicate and I sized it to sit right at the bas of my neck and barely dip into my cleavage with a black jumpsuit I own.  Yum. That is what you see above, and you can see the alternating color in the rice beads at the top of the yoke fringes.

The buttons are quite luscious!  They are made from Pink Abalone shell, and some of the nacre is just staggering!  In the photo above, two of the buttons are not catching the light as they could, but you can see a range of beauty in the four that are reflecting like they mean it. They are luminous, and flask from soft grey through peach and pink, with tiny hints of rainbow.

I have supported the pink in the nacre with Swarovski Rosaline Pearls, for H, J, and K beads.  I could find no 5mm in this color, so have subbed 6mm.  This K bead sits in the bezel fringe and also at the top center of the yoke.  If you have a wider neck, the 6mm should work nicely for you, and if your neck is more slim, then I have included an extra 4mm pearl in the K bag for you to use in that center yoke position. These push the pink a little, but feel like a nice choice when I view them situated in position.  The L beads are Czech drops, and transparent Rose with a rainbow finish.  What a good find they were!  They help to make the pinks and peaches and rainbow flashes all hang together.

The A and B (and one row of C) beads form the bezel, and I tried to emulate both the pearly finish and primary peachy-pink shade in the bead choice.  C and D provide sparkle (transparent with an AB finish) and are used as spacers in the yoke and the fringe.  For the majority of the yoke, I chose a flat matte silver bead, trying not to compete with or overwhelm the soft pinks.

I know I have missed the wintery season.  But this necklace with its delicate pink might be pretty spectacular at Easter.  And for what this is worth, as a Northern Girl, I have made Snow Bunnies (like Snowmen, but with ears!!!) for Easter on more than one occasion. So there is still the potential for Winter for at least some of us.

I am hunting beads for one more version of this piece, and hope to bring it to you soon.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Sunset Mookaite Jasper "Honey & Berries" Caramel's Claws Necklace Kits Back in Stock

I think I mentioned in my last post that I had moved my beading supplies out of my kitchen bay window.  In the process, I discovered many partly finished kitting projects.  This one was put on hold because I could not locate the Aiko bead in the bezel, one of my all time favorites.  Magically, this week, that bead is available.  I love this acorn especially, it is luminously transparent.  I will also get some matching earring kits done because they make especially fine earrings, dangling in the light, looking a lot like honey!

I have assembled 8 kits of both the necklace and earrings to offer for sale in my Etsy shop on Saturday February 29th at noon CST.  I don't expect there to be a rush, but some of my buyers like to know in advance, so here you go!

Please click here for a link to the listing for the Caramel's Claws Necklace kits.
Please click here for a link to the listing for the Caramel's Acorn Earrings kits.

The Sunset Mookaite Jasper focal beads are SO lovely and so varied that I have made images of them for your shopping pleasure.  In each case, the front and back have a different look, so I am showing your both. If you wear taupe, khaki, beige, and muted golds, and like soft berry and purple accents, these are for you.

Lots of purple accents here! A has a small nick at the edge of the bead, which you can see in the upper right of the Side 2 pic, but this would not be visible and would not affect the bezel shape. 

B is mostly soft gold and taupe with a river of berry juice running through it. Like a wheat field.

C is soft gold with a purply taupe swath on Side 1.  Side 2 is mostly gold and beige, 
with a little berry colored cross.  Reminds me of petrified wood.

D is very similar on both sides, with just a small purple swath along the edge of one quadrant, which would be half covered by the bezel.  This stone would let the bezel be featured.

E is a very graphic stone with loads of interesting markings, almost like a desert landscape.

In the F bead, the markings stripe from top to bottom.  A very nice, smooth surface for all the drama.

G Side 1 has a lovely variety of colors and markings, and lots of purply grey on Side 2.
  Nice dendritic, Japanese tree-like markings on Side 2!

H features nice berry patterning throughout, and both sides are quite similar.

I am always interested in how jewelry is worn with clothing, and when I got the Honey & Berries necklace sample out, I had a great time matching it with various pieces in my wardrobe! This is my favorite pairing, with a long Liz Claiborne cardigan, Conceited jeggings (order a size up, they run small) from Amazon, and a masterfully delicate gauge wool sweater from Vince at Nordstrom Rack.  It would be swell with soft, smokey purples too.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

A Lovely Variation of Caramel's Claws Necklace From Cheryl

At the beginning of 2020, I moved most of my beading supplies out of my kitchen.  In the process (of course, and no surprise to fellow beaders) I discovered a few things I had forgotten about.  Among those were some bags of maybe 30 stone focal beads from making kits for Caramel's Claws Necklaces.  I buy those beads in groups of five, and usually find at least one of the five that does not meet my quality and/or aesthetic criteria for use in a particular kit.  But some of them are interesting and beautiful in their own right.

In a happy accident, Cheryl bought a Caramel's Claws kit just at the moment I had those bags of extras sitting on my desk.  So I added one of them to her order that I thought might be a possible alternate to the focal she had purchased.

She was very kind and wrote a sweet thank you message.  After making her original (mostly) as the tutorial suggested, she used the second focal and her own very good design skills to make several changes.  She turned the stone to a vertical orientation, used Delicas instead of Aikos, adapted the pattern to suit the slightly smaller size of the Delicas, and arranged the strung portion in a more interesting pattern to reflect some unique properties in her focal.

I like her result so much that I am sharing it here with you.  But first a reminder of my original, horizontal Caramel's Claws orientation.

And now, please say hello to Cheryl and her beautiful necklace!

As you can see, this focal stone had quite a bit of several shades of pink.  Cheryl said she wanted the piece to be "pretty, but not sweet" given the pink in the stone.  I really like the crescents she chose, as well as the coppery 6/0 beads she used in her stringing.  They give the piece a look of antique bronze and support the warmth in the blue grey stone. and I love the pink quartz in the stringing too.  For me, perfectly pretty without the sweetness.  And I love that there is just a hint of it, instead of many repetitions, in nice sympathy to the focal bead.

Now to the modifications Cheryl used in the bezel.  She knew Delicas to be just slightly smaller than Aikos, so added 4 beads to her base row.  Wow!  Perfect, because given this large a base row, bead size could make a substantial difference to the fit of the bezel.  I have done the pattern with Delicas, and it works alright, but I must focus on loosening my tension throughout, and this bezel already is a snug one, and must be woven with a light touch to begin with.  You all know that she had to add a pair of beads, not just one, because this is Peyote.  But she also could not have added just a pair, because of the mirror symmetry.  No matter which way you divide this bezel in half, whether vertically or horizontally, both sides must be the same.  (Hmmmm... well MAYBE, you could have the top different from the bottom, but it would be a challenge, and instead of 6 crescents, you would likely need 5 or 7. But even then... I'd have to chart to be sure.)  So clever Cheryl added 4 beads, but then found her bezel a bit loose.  So she took advantage of the fact that this focal is a bead with a hole, and ran her thread through it to stabilize her work.

I am always so pleased when beaders do something unique with my patterns, and this is an excellent example.  My kudos to Cheryl for her neat adaptation of my Caramel's Claws pattern.  Caramel, my sweet squirrel friend, was impressed too, and asked for extra peanuts to celebrate!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Final Rose Hips Kits

You bought me out twice, so I have pulled together one last set of 10 kits for Rose Hips Necklace. 

I am NOT complaining about sales!  But I believe I may have purchased all of the Czech drop beads in the neck strap that exist.  So, this is likely the last chance, if you want the kit.  

I have considered replacing the hips with buds and an opening rose flower for a springtime version...  but my next year is a little in limbo just now.  More on that later.  But if you are one of the many who have the tutorial in their shipping cart, and were waiting for kits, here they are!  

I will be vending at the Upper Midwest Bead Society tomorrow, December 2nd, in the evening and hope I might see some of you there.  

Happy holidays to all!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rose Hips Redux

Bead & Button contacted me a couple months ago to ask if they might publish my Rose Hips necklace in their "Your Work" section.  I explained it was a few years old, but they were still interested, since it has not been seen in their magazine.  

The big up-side for me has proved to be an interest in kit and tutorial sales. :)  I really do love this necklace.  And re-kitting it proved not to be too challenging, since almost every bead was still in my stock. Some of them were discontinued, and so I had stocked up the last time I made the kits. Sadly, I can no longer get the pretty coral beads I used originally, but I have found a nice red Czech rice bead of the same size that works well in the project.  The gradation in the leaf beads means that there were many colors to keep track of, but thanks to decent storage, they were where they were supposed to be,  Yippee!

So if you are interested, here is a link to the tutorial.   It's a big, juicy, advanced 50 page tutorial, and I promise you will do things you have not done before, and learn about how to use a new structural material in beading. You will also have patterns for these little leaves (derived from Russian Leaf techniques)  in many sizes, and understand how to make them larger and smaller.

And then, here's the bead list.

It really is cheaper to buy the kit than to buy the beads individually.  I did a whole blog post on that, if you want to check it out.  The kit is a great deal at $65, with free shipping.  There are still a few left, but don't wait too long.  Here's a link to the kits.

If you decide you want to use your own beads and colors, you will still need to purchase the structural Stren fishing line in 50# test.  Also available in my Etsy shop at this link.  If you have done my White Lilac necklace, you will already know the material, but this is a new structural use.  I hope it opens doors in your creative process and thinking.  

The necklace is challenging, and you have to read the instructions to be able to do it.  But I wear mine frequently, both casually and for dressy occasions.  I hope you will too!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

When Beaders Use My Patterns in Unexpected and Interesting Ways

I checked in at my Etsy shop yesterday to fill and order and found a new review with a picture!  I just love it when you leave me pictures!

This photo is from Misty of The Wicked Queen Jewelry and More on Etsy.  The shop name is a link, but her shop name is mistythewickedqueen, just in case you want to Google or look her up on your own.

She purchased my Fall Flame Leaf tutorial, and had a great time playing with it.

It makes me so happy to see people exploring my designs with their own aesthetic and colors.  Stretches my own brain to see through other artist's eyes, and makes me feel like a contributing member of Planet Bead.

She generously allowed me to post her image and awesome work, plus left me a very kind review, and I am so very thankful!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Dreamscape Dragon Kits Re-Stocked

This is my favorite October necklace.  I love to wear it on matte black.  I have this one great chiffon blouse... and a few matte black sweaters.

It just seems to me to be all the beautiful colors of the leaves and Halloween images and sunsets.  That Crystal Astral Pink crystal really sings.  Yum!

I had 6 of the crystals in my stash, and these kits have been out of stock for ages, so I made up what I had.

Find the Tutorial here:

Find the Kit here:

I am still recovering from my push to get out my Summer Fruit series and will probably do a little more re-kitting for this year, before I make decisions about 2020.

Hoping you all are having a glorious, and colorful Autumn!