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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ring: Cobalt Blue Whispers

Okey, for once I actually wanted to take my time and play around with some of my artistic wire I've been having around, collecting dust for a bit more then a year now.
So I decided to try my luck on wire wrapping a ring.

I ended up picking 20 and 24 gauge black-plated copper wire for this little project. I also decided that I wanted to incorporate some beads into the design to give it some sparkle. When I was done with fitting the ring shape itself around the ring mandrel, I twisted the access of the loose wire ends into a pair of spirals, which I then secured together with the 24gauge wire.
The beads I incorporated are a pair of Fire Polished Czech glass beads in 8mm and 4mm. The 8mm bead has an AB finish, which the 4mm doesn't.

Now... As I began wrapping the 24 gauge wire around the 20 gauge wire I noticed that the black color began popping off. I'm not really sure how to deal with this on a colored wire once it happens; I'm not really that advanced when it comes to wire wrapping, heh.
I decided to take some sandpaper and actually scrape of some colors here and there myself to give it some sort of vintage look, which in my own opinion worked out really nice for the design itself.

► Have you ever tried wire wrapping? If yes, what do you think of it? If no, why not? ◄

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Necklace: In the Style of Romance

I've been in the mood for quite a while to put those twin beads I bought two months ago to some action, but of course I wanted to finish up my main project first. I found this tutorial about a necklace/bracelet I wanted to try on Preciosa Ornela's own website for free, so I decided to give it a shot since I really liked the design of it. The tutorial can be accessed directly here.

 It's mostly reading with not any graphs at all to be honest, but it's a very easy and understandable tutorial. It's a two needle technique which first is only about stringing on all the main beads on each side of the thread. The tutorial also tells how many beads you'll need for making a necklace (choker length) and a bracelet.

Besides the twin beads I also used 11/0 Czech seed beads. The tutorial however calls for 10/0 Czech seed beads, but I haven't even been able to find size 10/0 from Czech beads anywhere so I just switched 'em out for 11/0's.

For the attachment I decided to add a small piece of a chain together with a lobster clasp. I also decided to add a 4mm round Swarovski bead for weight.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cuff: Emerald Dream

I know, it's been almost two weeks since I blogged last. But I have an excuse, lol. Last month Mass Effect 3 came out and I've been waiting for it for over a year, so I've been a gaming nerd for the past two weeks, lol, sue me =P

Of course I've been beading on and off when I've been in the mood. I've been working on the project I posted last time, the bead embroidery cuff, and now it is finally done, mwahahaha! Lol.
Actually it was a very fun project to work with, and I think it turned out very nicely for being my very first bead embroidery cuff. Of course I'll make more in the future, since I really enjoyed it and I have a couple of more designs in my head for something similar :)

As I mentioned in my earlier post I decided to use three of my handmade polymer clay cabochons that I made about a month ago. After I glued them on I was first a bit worried on how the tear drop cabs would react when I would began to bend the whole thing to with onto the cuff, but it turned out very well, better then expected.
Since the cabs are in an emerald color (name is "emerald" on the clay) I decided to use 11/0 Miyuki emerald seed beads with a frosted AB finish as the main beads. I also had some emerald frosted AB long magatamas laying around so I incorporated them as well together with some 9/0 Czech galvanized seed beads.
Besides the polymer clay cabs I also added four acrylic flower cabochons and two flat backs. The flowers are in light coral and I decided to add them to get some more contrast into the piece.
In the end I also decided to add some gorgeous, green twisted bugle beads that I had laying around.

I wanted to add a picture on how the piece looked like after I was done with the embroidery. I was really happy with the result on how it ended up looking on the backside, since I know that it's important also to have a good looking backside, even if you're going to cover it up with backing. As always I use Lacy's Stiff Stuff for the foundation and Ultrasuede for the backing, but in the future I might even try to out Ultrasuede as the foundation as well, since I've been curious about that. The reason why I haven't yet is cause I find the Stiff Stuff stiffer to work on while embroidering then Ultrasuede.
But one day! Lol :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BTW - 14th March 2012

So here's what's laying on my bead table this week:

I got my hands on a metal cuff this week and I really, I mean REALLY wanted to create a bead embroidery piece using it.
I chose to incorporate the polymer clay cabochons I made a couple of weeks ago, together with some acrylic cabochon flowers that have been in my stash for over a year now.
As you also can see on my pic (pardon the flash but I wanted to get a shot and the daylight had already said bye-bye) that I'm using some permanent black markers to cover up the white. My solution until I can found some fabric dye, I haven't really been able to come across it yet *mutters*.

At the moment I prefer to bead on Lacy's Stiff Stuff, since I like the thickness of it, and makes it possible to go through some layers on the back of it without having any loose threads hanging around ( I hate that, lol ). For my backing I'm using ultrasuede; I know some people actually use ultrasuede for both the beading surface and the backing... One day I might try it, since they are already colored, heh.

What is your favorite type of cabochon you like to work with? :)

Item of the Month: Thread Zapper

I've been thinking for quite a while if I should get my hands on a thread zapper (burner) since I've been hearing so much good about it. I've just been on that point where I've been a cheapskate and thought to myself that a scissor will do just as good.
In the end it's not the same thing...

Last week I decided to jump down from my high horse and buy a thread zapper, and it finally arrived together with some other new stash I added with it.
Of course I couldn't wait to try it out. I had actually on purpose left a piece of thread on a beadwork that I'd been working on yesterday since I was waiting for it. So yeah, I tried it immediately! And I must say that I wasn't a day disappointed!
I can get a lot closer to the bead and burn off the access thread that I don't want to show, and it stops the thread from fraying.
I've had a recommendation by someone a while ago that I could use a lighter just as well, but... It's an open flame, and it's not as easy to control as a thread zapper, since' it's not an open, dancing flame.

There are of course different brands of thread zappers out on the market, but I decided to personally go fo the one from  The Bead Smith. It requires one AA battery, which is not included.

Of course it get very hot when you press the button, so you should always be cautious when using it and you would probably want to make sure you have some ventilation since it smell when you use it. Burning things always tend to send out some odor, lol!  

I recommend everyone, that hasn't, or are even thinking about getting a thread burner to get one.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Necklace: Aurora

I managed to finish up the bead embroidery pendant, together with its chain yesterday and managed to get a couple of pictures of it today :)

This, as I noticed in my earlier post, is a birthday gift for my mother in law -  hope she'll like it, lol :p

To create this piece I only used 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads. Instead of a normal opaque white I decided to use the ones with an AB finish on 'em, I just love the effect. The other color is a cobalt blue with a frosted AB finish.

The cabochon is made with polymer clay in a white metallic effect color.
As for the bail, I used right angle weave and added some embellishing on two the outer edges. The small chain is in twisted herringbone stitch. I wanted a very thin, yet elegant chain to go with the pendant, but without taking away the focus from the pendant itself. I chose to make it a twisted herringbone (had already settled on a herringbone chain) of the reason that I wanted to incorporate a single strand in it with the blue color, and what other way to use the twisted variation for it?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

BTW - 7th March 2012

 This week I've been working on a smaller bead embroidery piece featuring a Lucite polymer clay cabochon in metallic white that I wanted to do something with.
It's gonna look a bit vintage when it's completed, at least that is what I want to achieve with it :)

This is also going to be a birthday present for my mother in law now on Saturday, as it's her 60th birthday. Hope I can complete it on time, that is all the concern I have at the moment, lol :p

The second piece that I'm working on is that eye earring design again. I want to do something more of it then just a pair of earrings; we'll see what comes out of it in the end :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Earrings: Eye

I found this tutorial on YouTube about some beaded earrings, not too long ago by BeadsFriends or Sarubest. She has a lot of different craft tutorial about beading and also about polymer clay, so I recommend you to take a look at her channel :)

These pair of earrings are made basically with circular brick stitch around a 12mm pearl/bead. For mine I used 12mm Swarovski pearl in Maroon, 4mm round Czech glass beads in bronze, 4mm jet black Swarovski bicones, 11/0 seed beads by Miyuki and Toho, 15/0 seed beads from Miyuki and 3mm bugle beads by Miyuki also.
The tutorial is in two parts, first on how to make the center itself, and then there's a separate tutorial on how to do the points.
I really like how they turned out with the points, they almost look like eyes in my opinion :)

Since they are pretty dark, the pair I made I decided to attach gunmetal plated earring-hooks for these, and I think they look just right - you can't see it that well on the picture, I think.

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