Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 7!

And Amanda gifted me this: I am going to have to download this cd to my ipod so I can give it a listen next time I'm torching!


And this wonderful key chain as well:


It's going on my purse with the one I made for the swap :)



In other news, these necklaces:

And these beads:
will be on Etsy today! Lovely little hearts.......


Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 6!

From Katie:Two (TWO!) pairs of earrings! Love those peyote swirls...how does she do that?




Okay..so this is a...

catch-up post! I started my 12 Days of Christmas Swap on the 25th! Day one: from Lorelei, an adorable button bracelet:

Day 2, from Jennifer Jangles:


A cute ceramic tree ornament, already on the tree:


Day 3, from Deborah:


a pin cushion: on my bead table holding beading needles, of course!


Day 4 was supposed to be me, but I thought I was day three.....a normal mix-up for me :) I sent a keychain/purse charm and a focal lampwork bead:


Day 5, from Amy:


Earrings! That will probably match everything I own :) See the enamel headpins? Love them!


Okay...all caught up until tonight, when I open day 6!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Forgot....

to mention...I added the "Bracelet Blank" tutorial over on the right side as a perma-link. ------>

Chained....

another piece from the challenge! 36 inches of hand-forged chain: blackened, tumbled:

Wrapped & beaded:

I dislike shiney copper for some reason. I like a little patina. A little age.

What I really like about this piece is that the links with beads slide around every-which-way. Makes it fun to play with :)


Monday, December 19, 2011

Another cuff.....

another tutorial! "How to Cover a Bracelet Blank". Are you ready?





Okay! I started off with this strip of 3-drop peyote, but you could start with anything, really. Fabric, bead embroidery...whatever. Measure your blank! You want to give yourself some room (1/8 to 1/4 inch on all sides is good) for stitching later...better too big than too small!



The color changes or blending that you see are fairly simple to achieve. As you can see by the tail, I start with the center color. I work that one for a while, then I make a mix of mostly the first color (bronze) and a few of the second color (turquoise). Work that for a bit, then make a second mix of a bit of the first color (bronze) and more of the second color (turquoise). Work that mix for a bit, then switch to all of the second color (turquoise). Work the turquoise until you are at the end of your bracelet blank, with the first color (bronze) landing in the center. Then we switch to the other end of the strip, and do the same sequence of mixes but with the third color (purple). First mostly bronze with a little purple, then switch to mostly purple with a little bronze mix, then all purple. It looks nicely blended, but if you got out a ruler and examined it closely, you could tell where the switches are. But no one is going to do that with your bracelet, so no worries :)


When your top piece is ready, you'll need a strip of interfacing, Lacy's Stiff Stuff....whatever. I do carry the interfacing that I have dyed to this neutral gray if you need some. Make the strip a bit bigger than your top finished piece. We are going to glue the strip of peyote to the interfacing. Just a light layer of E6000 will do the trick....put on too much and you'll have it oozing out the beads. Yuck!



When you have the piece glued down, give it a stretch over your bracelet blank, and hold it in place with clothes pins. Don't be afraid to pull just a bit. You don't want it to be wrinkly.





At this point, it is only glued down to the interfacing! Not the bracelet blank. When it's sat for a good half hour or so, un-clip it and it should curl a bit in this shape:







Now you can carefully cut the interfacing away. Be sure not to cut any of your threads! Then...glue it to the bracelet blank, and hold it with clothes pins. And more waiting.....



I am going to mention here that the glue is simply a method to hold the pieces in place. We're going to stitch it all together here in a minute. When that has set for a half hour or so, glue the leather onto the back of the bracelet blank:





And more waiting :) I usually use black leather, but in this case I went with a nice tan. (I also carry leather pieces if you need that :)) When that has set, trim away the leather. Be sure you are not right against the edge of the metal! You won't be able to sew it properly if you are. I like to give myself about 1/8 to 1/4 inch on all sides.




You're left with this:



Starting to look like a bracelet now, right?




Now comes the fun part. (Not really.) Sewing. Leather can be tricky. Get a stronger needle and a thimble. And maybe some pliers to pull the needle through the leather. You could use ultrasuede, but I much prefer the leather.




Do a little picot all the way around. If you do not know the stitch, you can Google it for some really great tutorials.




When stitching, make sure you get the beaded front, the interfacing and the leather. Take a good bit out of the piece with your needle.



Yes, I use black thread for everything. I don't mind seeing the stitches. My grandmother was a quilter....I think it adds a nice "I made this with my own two hands, one stitch at a time" quality that you just cannot get with mass-produced items. When you have gone all the way around with your sewing.....you're finished!



I have about 6 hours or so invested in this cuff.



Well worth it, don't you think?




Hope you like my little tutorial. If you have any questions, e-mail me! I am always here to help. Now I need to go make some beads!!!





Sunday, December 18, 2011

The turquoise bracelet....

that I started working on I-don't-know-how-long-ago was finished this weekend:







Lots of turquoise and lots of seed beads. Leather back. Not really part of my current challenge, but i'm really glad to get it off my beading table!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another one...

is finished! This one is "Bondage": It's been wrapped, chained, leathered & cuffed:

The safeword is "dragonfly":

About a zillion of my tiny spacer beads went into this one:)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Earrings, made from....

yesterday's leftover beads: Would I recommend wearing these with the necklace? Probably not. Too matchy-matchy. But fabulous all on their own, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Necklace is done!

I am loving it! I started with one of my huge lentils and stitched a seed bead bezel around it. Added three strands of pearls and seed beads and loads of fringe:


Side one of the bead:
Side two:


A close-up of the starfish:finished with a sterling silver adjustable clasp with one of my hallmark tags:In all it's glory:)




You can wear the three strands separate or give them a little twist before you clasp it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm all finished...

with the Rock Star bracelet! Loads of hand-wrapped lampwork beads: vintage crystals:


stars: on a lovely 8" heavy-weight brass chain:

with an adjustable lobster clasp. It makes a lovely sound when worn, and the stars spin. A very fun piece to wear :)