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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Beaded Ropes

My latest book purchase is "Beautiful Beaded Ropes" by Jill Wiseman, and I was so intrigued by this book that I had to share it with everyone.

One of the most common elements I think every beader is incorporating into their designs are beaded ropes. I know that my very first beadwork ever was in form of a beaded rope, Russian spiral to be precisely.
There are so many different possibilities and variations of beaded ropes it's even hard to keep track of them all.

In Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes, Jill go through 5 basic rope techniques; spiral ropes, peyote ropes, netted ropes, herringbone ropes and right angle weave ropes.
She shares with us in this book a couple of different ways of using these basic techniques into some wonderful designs.
So far I've tried the dew drop spiral rope variation in shape of a bracelet. And I just love the result; the piece ends up with so much contrast and life compared to a simple spiral rope.
There is also a chapter where Jill shares with us a couple of other stitches and techniques.

At the end of the book, there are a couple of pages consisting of a wonderful photo gallery of creations not only by Jill herself, but also from a couple of other memorable designers, whom I personally love. You can get lost just by staring at them.

If you're interested in getting your hands at this wonderful book, I recommend to pick it up at "The Book Depository". They have lots of different titles, and they deliver world wide for free.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beads for Blogpost

My favorite way of incorporating these lovely traditional Czech glass beads are many, but when I use their seed beads especially in netting the touch really makes the beads feel like fabric; soft and smooth against the skin.  

One of their newest type of beads are the lovely twin beads, which can be used in many different variations of design, and so far I've tried them myself in a few right angle weave bracelets, and some pendants together with the Preciosa Ornela seed beads and bicones.

I also recommend everyone to visit their website, where they have a lot of free projects involving seed beads and twin beads, to get you started in your own journey with this wonderful Czech glass bead company;

They also have a YouTube channel with some great video tutorials and product videos;

Pendant: Twilight Sprite

Yesterday I managed to finish up my second pendant in the little "collection" that I mentioned in the first post I made; "Pendant: Forest Sprite".
The two pendants are approx. 7x3.5cm and they are attached to a 42cm long copper chain with a lobster-clasp in copper.

As the name states, this pendant is my interpretation of "Twilight", the colors that really fascinates me the most during this hour of the day. In northern Sweden we had a lot of moments when the sky created these exact shades of colors that I chose to incorporate and use in the pendant, and I wanted to bring that experience to life in a small piece of jewelry :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Necklace: Steampunk Heart

Yesterday evening I decided to start another blog, a blog where I will focus on stuff that pretty much has nothing to do with my jewelry creations, but where I'll share more about myself and what is happening around me on an almost daily basis. You can get directly to my new blog by clicking here:)

Why I mentioned that is cause I recently posted an entry that features a polymer clay creation I did about a week ago, featuring some Steampunk pieces.

I decided to incorporate one of the Steampunk hearts I created with polymer clay into a necklace piece, something a little more simple where the heart would be the focus.
I bead embroidered around the heart with glass pearls and seed beads to get the result I was looking for, with some tweaking in between.
As for the chain, there are a couple of glass beads in amber color attached on a beading wire on each side - there are two separate pieces that goes into, or between the beading foundation and the backing. The rest of the chain consists of copper link, which I created myself. Gosh, it was a load of work creating that handmade chain... I had to file down the edges of the jump-rings to make sure they wouldn't be sharp, cause before I did this I tried the chain on myself and it really hurt my skin around the neck. Then I hammered each one of the jump-rings with a rubber hammer, to make them harder, so they wouldn't loose their shape - oh dear, I can't remember how many times I hit myself on the fingers with that rubber hammer, lol.
I apologize though, as you can't see the chain and the clasp on the picture, I really need to get my hands on a designer bust soon, lol...

To sum things up; this was my very first Steampunk related piece ever, and I had lots of fun creating it. Besides the Steampunk theme I also wanted to give it a little bit of vintage feel to it - I don't do vintage too often really so I have no idea if I succeeded :P

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pendant: Forest Sprite

Yesterday I managed to finish up this pendant, created with bead embroidery.
I'm currently working on a bigger bead embroidery collar again, and during the day I ended up with this idea of making a few small pendants in different colors with the same rectangle shape. After working pretty much non-stop on the collar I wanted a change in materials and colors and decided to start on two of these little pendants that I planned just to get a little break.
This pendant is attached to a 42cm long copper chain and the closure is a lobster-clasp, also in copper.

The idea I have for these pendants is that I'm gonna make a few inspired by natural elements, and the first one, called "Forest Sprite" is inspired by the shear simple beauty of the forest. I'm also working on a second one, but I'm not gonna reveal anything about it yet, not until it's completed and posted here, on my blog.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cuff: Falling Leaves

Managed to finish this cuff up last week, but I've been a bit slow on blogging about it. I know I posted in on Facebook the moment I managed to get the photo's of it. It's been really heard to get a good picture of anything these past two weeks, the weather has been wet, dark and gloomy and the light the day provides gives the nicest photo's on jewelry in my own opinion.
The inspiration for this cuff actually came to me in autumn, when the leaves begin to color. I put away the materials I wanted to use for it the moment that creative muse hit me, but I decided to finish up my "Marie Antoinette" necklace before starting on something new, as it was almost done at that time.
I got the inspiration one of the days when I was walking to the bakery in the town I live in. The path is in grey stones, and there were leaves in different oranges shades all spread out over the path, making the colors really POP.
I have never really created anything using the color orange, so I decided to listen to that voice in my head that told me to take advantage of this play of two colors and make something really different.

A couple of months ago I purchased an orange dyed sea sediment jasper cabochon for random reasons (I mostly buy things without having a plan for them, and then I'll wait and see if inspiration will come along to do something with them, which in this case worked out perfectly... ). Or course I had to use that cabochon as the focal point, the crackles in it are a bit beige/grey and the different shades of orange in it just looked divine to my eyes.

On each side of the cuff I decided to "paint" a leaf with beads. I know, on the photo they look a bit red, the beads in color I mean. The seed beads color is called "Sunset Orange" (Toho) and is very close to red, but isn't red.
After I was done with everything on the cuff (covered the whole surface with beads), I thought the leaves looked a bit "naked" like something was missing, so I took up some 3mm Swarovski sew-on stones and experiments, laying them out on the beadwork to see if they would look good there or not. And I ended up laying them out randomly over the leaves and sewed them on there.
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