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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Necklace: Denim

Finished up this piece about a day ago, after laying it to the side trying to figure out how to execute it. It actually looks nice, and kinda unisex, which I wanted with it.
My main goal with this piece was to create something masculine, I just have a huge problem getting myself out of my own feminine zone and making something directed towards the opposite gender.

Aaand my boyfriend isn't the best help in the world either to look for an opinion about this either. He's not wearing any accessories at all, not even a watch, so it makes my life harder, lol.
At least I managed to force him into wearing it so I could see how it would look like on a guy, and it looks really nice. I wasn't allowed to take pictures of him with it on at all, not even if it was just from the bust... Mean! Lol.

The chain I used is a copper chain and it's aprox. 63cm, and it hangs down towards the center of the chest. The pendant is aprox. 5x5cm (2x2") and is, of course made with bead embroidery.
In the center is a tiger's eye bead that I decided to use for this piece.
I wanted to incorporate so less rounded shapes as possible and go with square shapes, since they are more masculine.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Necklace: Dagr

As I mentioned in my btw post this week I was working on a simple netted lariat necklace, and yep, it's complete.

I haven't been working that much with bead-netting before, so I decided that it was time to refresh myself a bit in this, I must say, very relaxing form of beading.
It is also the first time I made a lariat necklace, which was fun and time consuming. The lariat is about 130cm (51.2") in total, with the tassels included.

The tassels are wooden beads, which I painted with an acrylic gold paint and varnished it. The bead is also covered with bead-netting.
I also mentioned in my bead table post this week that I found a use for this shiny and bright crystal/gold, silver, copper lined 11/0 Czech seed bead mix. I've been having this in my stash (aprox. 1 hank) for a bit more then a year and I'm pleased to say that the WHOLE hank was used for this lariat and not a single seed bead of it remains, lol :D
For the fringe of the tassels, I decided to mix in some 11/0 galvanized Czech gold seed beads to give some non crystal contrast to the piece.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Winter - Spring 2012

I couldn't resist...
Some of the creations I did from the beginning of this year 'till now...

Book Review: Dimensional Bead Embroidery

I finally got my act together and did a book review. I had planned it after all to make a couple of them this year :)

Dimensional Bead Embroidery
by Jamie Cloud Eakin (published 2011 by LARK CRAFTS)

The book “Dimensional Bead Embroidery” is one of the most informative books out on the market, that focus around the art of bead embroidery.
Not only a person that already is basic with bead embroidery will enjoy it, but the author explain everything from basic scratch on how to create jewelry with this wonderful technique. In other words, the book is also very useful for beginners.

Like in most beading books the author brings up what kind of basic materials you’ll need for beginning; different types of thread, seed beads, beading needles, backing materials, stabilizers, findings and other tools that are essential to have nearby.
The author also explains how you take an idea and sketch it out on a paper, to later transfer the whole vision into reality.

Jamie will go through the most common bead embroidery stitches from when working on the embroidery surface to a lot of different ways to do the edging.  She also brings different bezel techniques into light that are more than back-stitch laddering and peyote.

One thing Jamie brings into focus that I haven’t really seen in any other books about bead embroidery is how to deal with uneven surfaces and make them flat a.k.a non-cabochons.
She also shows some examples on how to use pendants, doughnuts etc. in bead embroidery; things that have a hole in them. There are also a couple of projects available in the book that shows step by step how to make each one.

Dimensional Bead Embroidery” is definitely a book that each beader needs to have in their book collection.
Also, if you haven’t read Jamie’s other book, “Beading with Cabochons” I recommend you also to pick that one up as well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BTW - 18th April 2012

This Wednesday I have a bit of a bigger mess to show, lol. After I took the pics I actually decided to clean up the desk and now it looks a bit tidier, lol. I guess a "bead mess" is better then a garbage mess, heh :p well, in my opinion anyway ^^;

I've been starting on another bead embroidery project... Again, lol. I'm planning on making this piece my entry for this month's challenge at "Operation Tackle That Bead Stash!". Hopefully I can complete it before the 30th!
I also, finally found a use for those shiny 11/0 Czech bead mix that I bought a bit more then a year ago now. I've been working on a netted lariat necklace with them, and I think the beads are just perfect for it.

This week I've also been working on some polymer clay projects. I made a total of eight round beads with a pattern I carved by hand (one bead by one... phew... Precision work) and each bead is aprox. 10mm. After that I created a simple patina with black acrylic paint. To get the a nice turquoise color back on the beads (was all darker and messy after the acrylic was added) I decided to buff them with a very fine sandpaper, and it worked out great, just as I wanted 'em :) Then to buff them I rubbed them into some pair of old jeans I was wearing (I can't remember where I got this tip from, but it does the trick).

I also decided that I wanted to play a bit extra with different colors and different shapes.
I know that to achieve a  domed polymer clay bead you kinda need to press them onto a round glass surface. I found a last resolution after having a problem not finding any of those in my home, heh. I actually discovered that one of the milk jugs I have is very round in its center. It work out greatly, lol.
I created four round, domed beads with two hole on each side. I also created a square pendant with the same technique. I have no idea when or if I'll be doing something with them, but there is something in the back of my head that is whispering to me that I have to... Somehow. Just gotta figure out what, lol! Any ideas?

Of course I couldn't resist but to make those cute drop cabochons using the same palette :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pendant: Twinlulu

I wanted a little break from my main project and I saw this really adorable pattern yesterday which uses Preciosa Twin Beads on the Facebook fan page of Preciosa. The link lead to a Hungarian blog with the name "EWA's World of Beads" in English. Her blog is partly in English and of course in Hungarian, and she has a lot of different patterns for free on her blog, so for those who want to take a look I recommend you strongly to do so.
About three months ago or so I bought about 20g of four different colors of twin beads to have in my stash for "just-incase-I-will-be-in-the-mood" to play with them and I thought this was an awesome opportunity to play with them a bit more then I already had.
This pendant is called "Twinlulu" and it's really easy to understand; all Ewa's patterns are in diagrams in step by step and nothing is written.
What you'll need are of course twin beads, then you'll also need a 12mm rivoli, 8/0, 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads, 4mm rounds and 4mm bicones.

After I created my first pendant I wanted to try my hands on another, since I had a different color palette in mind that I wanted to try out. The purple one is my first try.
As for the second try... I've been having these gorgeous aqua/gold lined (#284) seed beads from Toho since a while and I wanted to try them out with different colors then the ones I'd tried before.

As for the attachment I decided to make the same for both of them. I gunmetal-plated chain with a magnetic clasp. The same chain looked nice to both of them so ^.^;

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wish List: April

11/0 Toho seed beads (#82 Metallic Nebula) from Perles & Co.
Gorgeous button from Perles & Co.
Drichroic Donut from Perles & Co.
Twin Beads in Crystal Lilac colour lined from GJBeads.
Dichroic Glass Cabochon Mix from GJBeads.
Garnet Gemstone Faceted Teardrop Briolette Beads from Beadaholique.
Lampwork novelty beads red round with a detailed frog from Beadaholique.
Fandango Purple (Dyed) Coin Shaped Cultured Pearls from Beadaholique.
Czech Glass Pressed Dagger Beads (Matt denim peacock) from Robin's Beads.
Toho Aiko seed beads (Salmon lined crystal) from Robin's Beads.
Pink Smooth Square Cat's Eye Cabochon from HobbyPerline.
12mm round Swarovski Jade pearls from HobbyPerline.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BTW - 11th April 2012

This Wednesday, my table is looking a bit messy with some random seed beads (which you can see in the background of the focus point).
In the front I'm working on a bead embroidery pendant yet again. The thing with this one is that I want to make something less feminine and more masculine. I have a problem though. I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to create a masculine jewelry piece with bead embroidery, nor with beads. I suppose this is a problem that every designer, regardless of what media is at least once struggling with sometimes in their journey when it comes to creating something directed to the opposite gender.
In the center of the bead embroidery pendant I've chosen to include a tiger's eye bead, together with some 4mm galvanized cube beads from Miyuki, together with 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads from Matsuno and Miyuki.
I'm still pondering about the chain for it though. I'm thinking about a blue cotton cord with knots on a few areas, or just a thicker chain in either gunmetal or copper. I suppose I'll be done deciding that when the main part of the piece is complete.

In the back, a bit out of focus, I've done another bead embroidery piece. I'm not sure what to make of it yet, a necklace for sure, but I haven't decided completely how to execute it yet.
The focal is a handmade polymer clay cabochon I created. I wanted to make a "lizard" like eye. So yeh, it's a unique piece, no mold used at all what so ever.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Necklace: Solveig

My deadline on this project got a bit messed up as I managed to first end up with a stiff neck - as in stiff as not being able to move it, myeh. Not only that, but on Friday I also managed to get a damn cramp that caused me to throw up and spend the entire day in bed.

Although, I'm happy that I actually managed to complete this piece before the 11th, as it is a birthday gift to my grandma, whom I haven't seen now for almost 3 years.
So I wanted to make her something special this year, as I wasn't able to the other two years due to the facts that I was heavily occupied with studies at that time.

I decided to name this piece after whom it is dedicated to, my grandma, who's name is Solveig. It's a nordic name for those who never probably heard about it. It is a very common name in northern Sweden, Norway and Iceland and the name means power.

The shape of the pendant is pretty much free-form. I sketched out ad doodled a bit on something until I was completely satisfied with it. My goal was not only to make something completely different but I also wanted to make the shape really feminine at the same time.

I wanted to put most focus on the pendant itself, instead of making a beaded chain, so I decided to just use a black string from Beadalon, and add some crimps with two matching Czech square beads that "floats".
The pendant is made with bead embroidery. The main beads I used where one 14mm Swarovski bicone, 3 Swarovski flowers, Czech glass beads, some handmade polymer clay beads, Matsuno and Miyuki seed beads in sizes 11/0 and 15/0 and 11/0 Czech seed beads.
For the bail of the pendant I decided to make something simple that wouldn't take away the focus of the main thing, a.k.a the pendant, so I decided just to string up three lines of seed beads and create a loop of them, paired up next to each other.
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