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Friday, May 25, 2012

Jewelry Design Star

I decided to participate in's "Jewelry Design Star" this month.

I would love to get some support on my "Emerald Dream" cuff :)

Make sure to participate in this yourself, if you haven't already during the next one ^.^

Book Review: The Art of Bead Embroidery

The Art of Bead Embroidery” is written by the publisher of Bead&Button magazine, Janet Kay Skeen and is published in 2007.

In this wonderful beading book that puts its focus on bead embroidery is the author taking her help from two of the greatest bead embroidery artist ever, Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kummli.

The book begins with a one page background story of each one of the two artists.
It is really structured out well when we get to see the different basic stitches Heidi and Sherry are using to create their wonderful pieces. Both of them are either using the same stitches, or completely different ones, so you get to expand your knowledge a lot in here.

The book, “The Art of Bead Embroidery” is not only suited for an experienced beader, but also for beginners.
In the first section of the book Heidi and Sherry are explaining what kind of thread, tools, glue, needles, backing and foundation each one of them prefer to use and why.
On top of that, each one of the two bead embroidery artists displays six different (twelve in total)  step by step projects that the reader can learn from.

In the end of the book there are a few pages with a photo gallery that show some of the beautiful creations Heidi and Sherry have done over the years.

The Art of Bead Embroidery” is definitely a book that anyone that have any interest in working with bead embroidery needs to have in their crafting book collection. 

I wasn’t disappointed when I bought my copy, and I’m sure you won’t be either!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Button Frenzy!

I've always found buttons really fun to look at, ever since my grandma took me with her to the fabric store when she was gonna buy fabric to make curtains. I remember how I used to look at all the shiny, beautiful and interesting looking buttons in the tubes the store sold them in.

These are some of the buttons I received from my aunt.
A while ago my aunt told me she was going to take a look in a new opened second hand store that just opened near their neighborhood. As I just got an interest for incorporating and using buttons here and there in my beadwork, I asked her if she could keep an eye out for some interesting buttons, if they would have any. A couple of days later I called her and she told me that she found a couple and was gonna send them down when my mom would come over here for a visit.

Now... Somehow my grandmother had heard that I was looking for buttons and had also sent with her "a couple" too.
A couple? She sent a huge bag loaded with buttons, not only that she had bought, but the ones she had collected from her mother and her mother in law.
When I opened the bag, I could not believe my eyes and I did not know where to start. So out of instinct, I began to dig in the bag and look what kind of shinies were in there.

I collected a few memorable out of the bag and cleaned them with a napkin and took some photos of them, and also of some of the ones my aunt gave me.
These are some of the many buttons I received from my grandma.

BTW - 23rd of May 2012

First to say; I had a great and really nice week here, together with mom and my bf. We went to a Monastery for monks not that far from here (Tongerlo). The place was HUGE and so beautiful, and you could just see all the elements from the medieval age (the monastery is from about 1500 century). The special thing was that they have a museum about Leonardo DaVinci, and also the best preserved replica of "The Last Supper", in real size, which was a wonderful sight for the eye and very interesting. They also had gorgeous replicas of a bishop hat and robe - I can't remember what the actual words for these things are in English, but I'm sure it's not "hat" and "robe", heh. They had rows and rows of beads and gemstones embroidered to the fabric. I wish I could show picture but you weren't allowed to take any :(

This Wednesday I have a bead embroidery project laying on my table. What a surprise, huh? (lol) I'm currently working on a larger piece this time. A necklace. And so far I've had in mind of mainly using black in different finishes on the beads. I might add some coral red at some point, but until I've "drawn" out the exact design I want, I won't add anything else.
The cabochons I chose to work with so far in this piece are mainly black onyx. The red one... I'm not really sure of what it is. I got it in a gemstone cabochon mix that I bought some months ago. If anyone might have a clue, I would love to hear what you think it might be :)

Besides the bead embroidery laying on my bead table, I've also been sorting some beads that I received from my younger sister as a late Christmas present, which my mom was kind enough to bring with her. I really love the pink round beads in this photo, they are so gorgeous, and the sparkly ones too of course, nom nom.
The hardest part to sort (still sorting, not done) is the seed beads that was in the box I got from my sis. They had been really rough with my mom's traveling bag on the air port, so all the beads had ended up in a big soup. Luckily all the beads were still in the box, heh.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BTW - 9th of May 2012

This Wednesday I've been playing around with circular brick stitch and came up with a pattern that looks kinda flower like. My idea was to use some of the 8mm Swarovski pearls that I've been having laying and collecting dust for ages, and make some flat-back earrings of them. After completing one of the pair and taking notes I actually decided that attaching the back side of the piece with some E6000 would be best. To be honest E6000 glue is the best glue I've ever laid my hands on.

I also decide to take a picture of my work surface. I actually cleaned it up a lot before I got sick, but lol, I'm not sure anyone can tell since the mess is almost there again, haha. The area isn't 100% complete according to myself, I want to add a shelf with two or three planes above the desk on the wall. But we'll see when that is gonna happen.

I'm also gonna add in this post that I might be absent for at least 10 days, as my mom, whom I haven't seen now for almost three years is coming over today. Her plane should be landing in Brussels in about two hours. So I'm most likely gonna be busy spending time with her :D

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Necklace: Emerald Twirl

For those who remember the "Polymer Clay Cabs 6 (emerald)" I made in February, they probably  recognize the pattern on this focal bead I made. 
I still have some of the cane I made for them left and I wanted  to try making a polymer clay bead with the bicone shape, and I decided to overlap a completely black circle of clay with the cane and then roll it. Actually, to achieve this bicone result, instead of rolling the clay in your hands to a circle you used a flat, hard surface against your working surface with the same movement, and as you go the surface on the clay turns into a spiral and depending on how long you work the clay like this, the more extreme the spiral gets.

So, I had completely no idea what to make of this rather big bead, until I noticed the couple of bails I had in my stash since a while. So I turned it into something simple but just attaching it to the bail, then to a chain and then the chain to a lobster clasp, and viola! 

"Less is more" as they say...

Bracelet: Dalia 2

I decided to make a different version of the bracelet Dalia that I did last year since I really liked the design of it. The original is in black, red and gold. So this time I decided to step out of my comfort zone of working with dark colors and went completely bright.
Those crystal/silver lined twisted bugle beads have been whispering to me of lately that I need to do something with them. I just didn't know what until now.
So I went with the "baby-princess" theme on this one and decided to incorporate those gorgeous light pink alabaster seed beads by Miyuki that I bought 100g of from GJBeads the beginning of this year. As for the center in the flowers in the rows between the bugles I decided to add crystal/lined gold seed beads by Matsuno since it gave some more contrast to the piece. The rest of the white seed beads are also by Matsuno in a white color with AB finish. All of the seed beads I used, besides the bugles, are 11/0's.

I actually like how it turned out a lot, not that I think I could wear these colors myself, since... It doesn't fit with my style, lol :P

Friday, May 4, 2012

Earrings: Astrid

I spent part of my afternoon (after doing some shores around the house) to again, play with this really cute beaded bead, which is made with using peanut beads (or farfalle) and some Miyuki fringe beads.
The pattern for the beaded bead (popcorn bead) is created by "The Beading Butterfly" and can be accessed for free here.

 After making a matching pair I tried one of them out together with some other beads on a head-pin, to see if I could get some simple earring design out of it.
I thought they looked just lovely together with some acrylic/plastic oval beads that I've been having in my stash since a while. At first, when I made the wrapped-loop I first attached the head-pin directly to the ear-hook but I didn't like how it looked like, so I decided to play around with some chain and experimented how it looked like with different amounts of chain links and found out that three looked the best.

I actually liked the somewhat classic/retro look of the earrings so I decided to make another pair with the remaining acrylic/plastic beads I had. Well, I had five but I have no idea at the moment what to do with the last - that will teach me to buy uneven amounts when they are sold per piece, lol.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hair Clip: Freya

Starting off this post with saying that I haven't been able to either blog or make anything jewelry related at all of the facts that I've been having a rather serious disease. 
My hands and feet have been completely swollen up like balloons and I've had a very annoying rash pretty much all over. I went to the doctor last week on Friday and he took a sample of my blood and also gave me some medicine against the rash and the swelling, which didn't help a bit.
On Monday (darn weekend) I got the result, and it turned out to be a rather serious infection in my blood stream. 
I got some really strong antibiotics and they're helping. 
Again I'm able to sit at the computer and to play around with beads, which I've missed loads! :)

So, enough about that, heh.

I managed to finally finish up this bead embroidery hair clip that I was working on for the April's Challenge at "Operation Tackle That Bead Stash!". I didn't manage to finish it on time though, before the deadline, but it was something different then what I've done so far, so I'm happy anyway.
The cabochons are handmade with polymer clay (by me as always). Then we have some mother-of-pearl buttons and a crystal flower from Swarovski.
The seed beads I used were in sizes 11/0 and 15/0, from Matsuno, Miyuki and Preciosa, and some 1.5mm Miyuki cube beads.

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