Monday, May 28, 2012

Hors d'oeuvres

Today, it's a bit of this and a bite of that...just catching up on some of what I've been doing over the last two weeks:

Beaded Bead contest:

I've done a few more of the Beaded Beads necessary for Beadwork magazine's 15th Anniversary contest. Here is my collection so far:

The numbers refer to the sequence of the beads in the magazine, not the order in which I beaded them. So far, I'm particularly fond of the two "ones" in the foreground, and the "two" to the middle right. I plan on doing an additional "three" for sure, and probably some more "ones". I want to have enough to have options for my design when that moment comes. So particular design inspiration!


A month or two ago, I also joined Artcharms, which is a Yahoo group. This is a very active group run by the authors of this fun book. I have participated so far in 4 swaps; here is what I sent for the Frida Kahlo swap:

These were to consist of images/colors around Frida, her work, and Mexico. I sent shrinkie images, and hand-painted wooden beads. 

For the blue/brown color swap I sent these, in multiple colors and variations:

Here's my goodies for the pendant swap:

....and the "Going Postal" swap; these are Canadian stamps, covered with resin, on a Canadian nickel base:

I also participated in Lori Anderson's Pantone Colors Spring 2012 swap; I had the pleasure this time of sending goodies to Silvia Sernicola in Italy. While I won't post the picture of what I sent, so as to spoil the surprise for her, I had a great deal of fun picking out goodies in our chosen color scheme:

Can't wait to receive my goodies back from all this activity, and I will be sure to show you what I receive. 
ETA: a link to Silvia's post, where she has the most wonderful picture of the color combinatin in use: Pipa the Latest Take a trip over, you'll love her blog. 

Toronto Bead Show

This last Saturday, I attended the Toronto Bead Society's Spring Bead Show. This takes place Spring and Fall, and although the Spring show is a somewhat smaller one, both shows are always the best in the region IMO. The place was jammed! Here are a few peeks of what I came home with:

The whole stash:

Wonderful enamelled beads from Klee Creations (sorry, could not find an online presence). Cynthia Riggs I blame this on you! :-)
Look at those fab faceted agate beads to the left as well....yumm. 

I had SUCH a hard time deciding which one of these little color packets to take home! I wanted of them! These ones will make a necklace for me to wear to the Gala in October, with my fuschia jacket. Fun!!

These two delicious lampwork beads are from Laurie Wright at Designer Beads. I am SUCH a sucker for anything...anything at all...with spirals. Love the colors too!
....and there are some more of those yummy faceted agates. 

 ....and then, the piece de resistance IMO....a strand of wonderful!! fire agate rondelles in the most incredible orange, peach, and hot tones. I'm not always an orange kind of a girl (I certainly couldn't wear this color), but the Pantone people this year are wearing me down. :-) I'll likely mix it up with some fuschia and yellow in beaded beads.
The other strand is a huge splurge....garnets in tumbled nuggets. It's tough to see in the photo, I know, but again they are the most wonderful plums, pinks and cranberries EVER.

As you can see, I've had fun over the last two weeks! Hope it's been good for all of you too.....:-)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Better late than never....

Hi again!


First of all, let me say I am in awe of Cynthia's beautiful pieces from the buttons I sent her. What wonderful work!

Here is the first piece I have finished from the wonderful buttons she sent me...

I was absolutely in love with the colour of these buttons that Cynthia created by enamelling vintage blazer buttons; as I was browsing through my (extensive LOL) stash of cording, leather, sari silk etc this piece of cording caught my eye and I absolutely loved it with the button.  Tough to see in the pic, which had to be taken at night with un-natural lighting...but it is a soft taupey grey. It looks absolutely wonderful with the mauve of the button. I chose colors in Swarovski pearls, and the new Antique Rose Swarovski crystals to coordinate, and Toho seeds to finish the ends of the cording. I am pleased with the way it turned out, and will wear it often.

I also wanted to show you this idea, which I found on Pinterest the other day...from Cherade9.

Isn't that cool? Although my wire talents are limited, I do believe I'm going to try something like this with the antique brass, Buffalo nickel, and Toronto buttons Cynthia found for me....

Can't wait to be able to see all the other participants' goodies! 

Button Swap Reveal Day!

Good morning everyone!

I am going to have to apologize in advance today, as real life is kicking my butt here...I've worked at my real life job mumblety-mumblety days in a row, and I've had NO time to either finish my first piece from the wonderful buttons Cynthia Riggs sent me, or do more than one.

I HAVE had five quick minutes before heading off to work yet again, to look at her pieces from the buttons I sent....oh my gosh!! Beautiful!! Be SURE not to miss them!

Here is what Cynthia sent me:

Two beautiful enamelled buttons~after Cynthia and I talked about what we were going to do, and I said I was just jonesing *g* for some of her fantastic enamel work~she played around a bit and found a new outlet for her enamelling...enamel on old buttons! Are these gorgeous or what! It is one of these that I chose to start out my pieces with, and I promise I will show you that later tonight. 

She also sent that wonderful focal flower "button" in the centre, three antique brass stamped buttons from her own Sizzix, and two really unique antique pieces...more about those later! :-)
And of course there had to be a bit of bling! It's me, after all, right??! Those two fuschia blingy buttons on the top left of the picture are just SO pretty!

I do have one piece with just about a half hour's work needed on it, that I can't complete before I go to work today, unfortunately....but I will do so today after I get home, and I will post again later tonight. 
I apologize again for being so far behind!! 

Here is the list of participants in the swap....please go have a look at their beautiful pieces, and thanks so much to Cindy Wimmer at Sweet Bead Studio for being an awesome swap hostess! She rocks!!

Later!! *waves*

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Vocal Focal...

...isn't that the most fabulous swap name? And this was one of the most fun swaps I've been in, as well. Just a small one...there were 12 of us. My partner is Renetha Stanziano at Lamplight Crafts and Renetha actually sent me TWO beautiful focals!

The first one is a beautifully etched-finish long tablet glass focal, drilled vertically. The colors are right in my wheel house and so of course it was this one that I started thinking about to begin with. How to show it off, without overwhelming it?

I thought about hanging it simply from a nice rope of some kind...but that seemed too ordinary, somehow, for this gorgeous bead...

I thought about trying to wire wrap it a bit and do a chain with some complementary beads...but my wire wrapping skills are so far primitive at best..and I didn't want to "cover up" the bead with wire in any way.
And then, as beady things will tend to go, I had an inspiration in the shower one day.. (don't visualize that will be bad for your mental health!)

When I look at the bead, I think immediately of water and waves; it may be tough to see in the picture, but the bead is sparked with a bit of silver in those's just gorgeous. The word that came to my rivulets....rivulets, running down to the ocean...and there's where my design came to being.

I plan on doing a plump skein of individually strung seed bead strands, that will move and shimmer, in the colors drawn from the bead. I am including a chain which I have used a bit and absolutely adore as one of the strands as well; it is a very tiny what I call dot-and-dash ball chain and will add a bit of texture and some additional sparkle, and mimic the silver in the bead itself.

The skein will be caught at centre front with a bail made of swarovski Crystal AB bicones or rounds in RAW about an inch or so wide; I'm hoping it will look like wave splash :-). The bead will dangle from that.
Here are the seed beads I've pulled, to give the general idea:

And a bit more closeup to show the detail of the bead and that dot-and-dash chain I love:

And then....the second beautiful focal Renetha sent me! I'm a little star-struck LOL...Renetha's friend the inimitable Carole Ohl designed this focal, which Renetha then stitched. 

It is absolutely gorgeous! I don't have plans "set in stone" yet for this one, but am leaning toward a really simple textured seed-beaded bracelet, probably silver, with this as the focal clasp. It is well-designed as it has a "slip-on" feature at the back which makes it really easy to attach, almost like a slider bead.

Thanks again to Renetha and Bonnie Coursolle at Jasper's Gems who organized this swap! Here is the list of the other particpants. Please take a few moments to visit them as well!

Cindy Wimmer
Ginger Bishop
Bonnie Coursolle
Andra Weber
Shirley Moore
Kashmira Patel
Maybeline Tay
Dee Torcherer Elgie
Bonnie Coursolle
Rhonda Baird

ETA: I see some of these links are not working, and I'm not sure why...working on it!
ETAA: Fixed!