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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!