Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bead Blog Recognition

Hi!  Just a brief note to explain the new image in the right-hand column of my blog's main page.   I was surprised and pleased to receive email saying I had been selected as one of the Top 100 Bead Blogs on the web.  The URL for the Top Bead Blog site is http://blog.feedspot.com/bead_blogs/. There are some great blogs and links there, and I encourage you to "drop by" and scan through the sites.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Late Summer....

Where has the summer gone? In between projects and travel I'm afraid I've been negligent at making new posts.  So here are some pieces I've made up for the August show in Westerly.  You will no doubt recognize the forms such as the ruffled lei and the lariat.  Here they are in some new color-ways.











In addition, for something simple and light, I made a couple of hollow domed circles embellished with inked designs.


I've also put together some light and simple earrings to add to the end-of-summer fun.
 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Folded Fans Necklace

This is the last of five necklaces I made as entries into the juried Regional Art Show in Westerly, Rhode Island.  The necklaces in the previous 3 posts on this blog were the others I submitted.  I was very pleased that all five of my pieces were accepted into the show.  The show ran for the month of May and three of the necklaces sold.

I call this new bead style the "folded fan".  The use of a Skinner blend to make the beads change in color, and the graduated sizes added another dimension of interest to the set.  I used small filigree silver balls n between the polymer beads, and finished the necklace with galvanized silver seed beads.  A light and fun piece for summer into fall.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Light and Swingy Lariats

I've recently started exploring lariats.  They can come in a variety of styles, sizes, weights, designs - imagination is the limit.  In my post on April 18th, I showed a lariat with multiple neck strands and a large central piece for the ends of the strands. Since then, with summer coming, I've been experimenting with lighter and more easy stylings.


This gold and black lariat uses ultra microfiber suede strips. The strips are strong yet supple, very lightweight, and are soft against the neck and skin.  The adjustment loop has a sliding goldtone metal bead.  The same bead is also used at the end of the strips to hide the joining work where the polymer bell flowers are attached to the suede strips.  I plan to make more using the microfiber strips.

 The coral lariat is a different design.  I used 2 strands of the suede strips side-by-side.  They lie flat behind the centerpiece with the flowers.  This section lies right against the neck in front.  Then the strips go around the neck, cross in back, and come to the front again. At this point, the dangling sections can be left straight or flipped loosely over each other.  Styling options!
I think that both of these styles would look great with summer T's or tops. Of course, when it's colder, they would also work with a turtleneck.
Versatility is a real plus with jewelry!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Skinner Blend Lei

As you may  have noticed, I really like the ruffled lei necklaces I've been making for the past few months.  It occurred to me that it would be fun to make a set of ruffled lei beads that incorporated the concept of a Skinner blend.  With spring colors just starting, and summer coming, I decided to try a blend that would move from the bright corals and yellows of spring into the more cool greens of summer.  The core of the ruffles is made with translucent clay, embossing powders, and a gentle tinge of color, while the edges are solid clay colors following the Skinner blend I chose. The ruffles on this necklace are separated by honey gold Swarovski pearls.  Their glow just seems to reflect the glow from the translucent clay.  I made this necklace longer than usual since I think it will be a perfect piece to wear with a variety of clothing styles.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Half-hollow Bead Necklace

I was playing around with an Ikat cane I'd made, and started making hollowed circles.  I used a sheet of the Ikat cane, laid it across the edges of a circle shape cutter, and gently smoothed the clay so it stretched down into the cutter.  Then I pressed the cutter onto a flat sheet of clay, making sure there was a firm connection between the domed section and the flat backing.  The pieces baked well, retaining the domed shape. I used a ribbon of clay and some Genesis Thick Medium to bond the various dome shapes together, and created this necklace.  I like the look and feel of the domes, and plan to be making more shapes and pieces in the near future.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tube-Style Necklaces

I love the warmth and glow that translucent clay imparts to a piece.  Recently, I made a couple of blended "cell" canes that have a lot of translucent in them.  I call them cell canes because they remind me of a group of cells clustered together, or perhaps a bit like the inside of a bee hive.  Each "cell" is a bull's eye blend fading to translucent, with a white polymer wrap around it.  Of course, once you've made a cane, the next challenge is to use it.  I decided to make hollow tube beads, keeping the irregular edges as part of the shape.  I made a set which I combined into a necklace. I had done a similar necklace with this type of cane a few months ago in a different color combination.  I really like the way the navy pearls and light blue crystals complement the tube beads.

Just for fun, I decided to try something a bit different.  I made just one larger tube, and figured out a way to hang some chains with pearls from the inside of the tube.  The results are shown here.  I really like the way these turned out.  I particularly like the look of something hanging from inside the tube, and will have to give this idea more time soon.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sweet Floral Dangles

Here are some new earrings I've been making - sweet flowers and hollow buds.  I must admit that these were an off-shoot from the Moroccan beads I was working on a while ago.  The idea to go small and add some three dimensional dangles for fun just sort of evolved.  And here they are!

I have them hanging from a wire "earring tree" that I spray-painted white.  It was a black and brass color, and just didn't shout "spring" and flowers.  I'm happy with the white.  It's surprising sometimes what just a simple change of color can do.  The tree and earrings are to the right.

Here are a couple more close-up photos of some of the earring pairs.  I made a couple pairs for myself. They're fun to wear, and they've been drawing attention.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A New Lariat Necklace for Spring

I should really make more lariats.  They are such statement pieces and really stand out.  Though they take longer than some other pieces, I do enjoy making them. Besides, they are fun to wear!

This particular lariat has 3-D petal designs on the focal piece and smooth, rounded pods at the ends of the strands.  I used ultra-suede strips for the necklace straps. They are strong, yet feel good on the neck. One of the beauties of this necklace form is that it is very adjustable, and one size really does fit most.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lei Necklaces for Spring and Summer

I really enjoy making these "lei" type necklaces, and I think they're fun to wear, too.  These pieces have some nice natural components.  The pale yellow core on the aqua ruffle beads provides a really lovely contrast, and makes the necklace "glow" from within.  I found some lovely turquoise stone beads with yellow markings, and they match the polymer beads perfectly.

For the burgundy and white petal bead lei I used freshwater pearls and garnets for contrast.


The orange and yellow polymer focal piece below went perfectly with some coral chips I had.  I like the way the unevenness of the coral chips compliments the swirled shapes and colors in the polymer.  Mixing natural stones and pearls with polymer adds another dimension to these pieces.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Earrings on a Moroccan Theme

Continuing on the Moroccan theme, I decided to use the cutters and the leather imprint stamps to make some fun and colorful earrings.  In a couple of the pairs, I added a silver daisy bead, while others I left open with a tiny Kemper star-shaped cutter.
These go well with the hollow Moroccan pendants, and can certainly be worn on their own. It was fun to cut these cheerful shapes while I experimented with colors.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Moroccan Bead Necklaces

In early March, I posted some photos I took of some Moroccan themed beads I made in a CFCF 2017 workshop taught by Lisa Haney.  For more information about the class and Lisa's great ideas, take a look at the March 8th post. Today, I'm just going to share some pendants that I made using the hollow beads.  As you can see from the photos, I went a bit wild and made several of these beads in various sizes, colors, and finishes.

To the left is one of my favorite pieces. I used mica powders to add some sparkle and shine to the clay.  I found a wonderful metal bead with a verdigris finish that compliments the piece perfectly, then hung everything from a chain.

To the right is a cluster of other focal pendants hanging from chains, each with their own dangling bead.   These were fun to make and will be fun to wear!

The photo at the bottom shows a few more necklaces made with hand-dyed silk ribbons instead of hanging from chain.  The ribbon is pretty, allows these pieces to be adjustable, and creates a softer, more rustic look.  These necklaces are all going to the Westerly Art Gallery where I'm a featured artist for April.   Drop by if you're in the neighborhood!