Tuesday 31 March 2015

Art Bead Scene March Inspiration Challenge

The ABS blog inspiration for this month’s challenge was this beautiful watercolour piece, Haida Totems, painted by Emily Carr while she was off alone on a momentous six-week trip, going through Alert Bay, to the Tsimshian villages of the coast of northern mainland British Columbia, to the Gitxsan villages in the interior, and ultimately to the even more remote settlements of the Haida people on an archipelago then called the Queen Charlotte Islands, now known as Haida Gwaii.

Haida Totems, 1912 By Emily Carr
Watercolor on Paper, 76mm x 55mm
BC Archives, Canada

The art chronicles of her journey were made using pencil and watercolor. Her art took on bright hues and bold brushstrokes of the Fauvist paintings she saw in Paris in 1910.

I was very inspired by the colours used in this painting and put together many pairings of art beads and supporting beads, chains, cording, etc., however ran out of time. I was participating in the Fusion Bead 30 Day Bead Challenge and vastly underestimated how much time was required.

I was able to make these pretty earrings, inspired by the watery blue shades of the totems and in the background.

Haida Flower Earrings

The pretty porcelain flower charms were created by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. I paired them with pretty Freshwater Pearls in medium peacock colours. The pearls are strung on Sterling Silver wires and everything hangs from lever back Sterling Silver ear wires.

 On my plan but not completed was a necklace based on a beautiful Lampwork bead by Sue Kennedy of SueBeads. Sue named this focal “Earth & Ocean” and it is the perfect name. I have everything laid out on my table and will be putting it good use soon. It will be fun!

Now please check out what everyone else made here.

Monday 30 March 2015

Polymer Clay Challenge – Month 3

Here’s part 3 of my goal of completing 1 new Polymer Clay project a month. This one just squeaked in under the wire:

Marble’d in Blue, Pendant and Earring Set

The marbled effect was made by combining 2 shades of blue clay with a white clay. I had fun mixing and blending.

The clay was packed into bezels for the earrings, then the pendant. The pendant bezel is pewter. All other metal is Silver Plated, including the bail with the sparkly rhinestones.

I also made some pretty pink earrings, featured in day 29 of the Fusion Beads 30 day bead challenge.

Pink Lotus Earrings

Day 30, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Here it is, the final day of the 30 day bead challenge. We are finishing off with a memory wire bracelet design. Here’s one I made using Sodalite gemstone chips.

Shade of Blue Bracelet

The ends were finished off with some pretty and silky ribbon with a very loose weave and lots of sparkle.

I hope you enjoyed this bead challenge adventure. I did and will post some thoughts about it in the near future. Thanks!

Day 29, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Today the challenge was to work with Crystal Clay and make a Crystallized creation. So, I dug out one pack that was already partly used, then pulled out a new package, and then another new package. Part A of the two part clay in all of my crystal clay packages had dried out, even the unopened ones.

Now what? I had none left. It was time to be resourceful. I took out the Polymer Clay I’ve been experimenting with lately and used a blush coloured clay to pack into my bezels, then added 3 pink Swarovski  Marquis cut crystals to each bezel. Just before baking I added some cheery, bright pink Mica powder for added bling.

Pink Lotus Earrings (Sold)

I didn’t realize my little lotus flower ended up sitting sideways until the first bezel was complete. I made sure the second bezel was a mirror, and all in all, I’m pleased with the result.

Sunday 29 March 2015

Day 28, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

For the day 28 challenge I found some pewter buttons that were looking for attention. I decided to stretch myself in 2 ways, using non-traditional elements and making an asymmetrical design. The result is these cheerful earrings.

Spark of Nehrite Earrings

I used the Pewter Buttons, ceramic beads, orange shell beads and rough cut glass beads. Black silk cording forms the base that everything attaches to. Gunmetal ear wires and jump rings complete the look.

Days 26 & 27, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Two days in one. A bead party and a new shape. I made a bracelet that uses Magatama beads and button beads. Lots of fun

Sunshine Bracelet

My friends were shy and wouldn’t stay at the table for the photo but here is everything laid out at each place after selection.

Thursday 26 March 2015

Day 25, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Go for classic appeal. Use pearls in your design. That was the call for day 25 of the Fusion Beads challenge. I made 2 pieces for the challenge.

Pretty Peacock Bracelet

This classic bracelet gives a fresh touch with pearls dyed medium peacock and sage green.

Haida Flowers Earrings

These gorgeous earrings were inspired by the handmade flower charms from Suburban Girl Studio. The medium peacock pearls were the perfect finishing touch

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Day 24, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

For today’s chain maille challenge here’s a bracelet based on a chain maille pattern known as Jazzi chain.

Jazzy Jazz Bracelet

I also pulled out these little earrings. This Centipede Weave has been popular at shows.

Centipede Weave Earrings

For this pair I used Lapis Lazulai gemstones for the finishing touch. Looks like I need to redo the photos though.

Monday 23 March 2015

Ultimate Woman’s Show, March 28 2015

Join me at the Ultimate Woman’s Show this coming Saturday, March 28 from 6:30 – 10:00 PM.

It’s a ladies evening with a Fashion Show! Shopping! Mini Spa Treatments! Demonstrations!

There are lots of great prizes too!

Register your attendance by the afternoon on Thursday, March 26 to be entered in a draw for Spending Money!

I will be showcasing and selling my latest jewellery creations. There’s lots that’s not in the online store yet. Come check it out.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.


Day 23, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Today we were asked to “Go glam”. Use crystal, jet, silver or gold. Create a dramatic jewellery design.

I used sterling silver with jet coloured Onyx beads to create this gorgeous necklace

City Woman Necklace
There are two shapes of Onyx in this necklace, large hole donuts to connect the sterling silver and silk cord sections, faceted teardrops which were wrapped in a free form, messy wrap to the intricate chain.

Sunday 22 March 2015

Day 22, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

A bib necklace was requested for today’s challenge.

I chose to create this version of a bib necklace

Sparkle Rock Necklace 

The rough cut spears are Quartz electroplated with Titanium and are separated by clear Quartz rounds, with more of the 4 mm gemstones on each side of the spears. The sparkle of the Titanium is difficult to capture in photos but it is mesmerizing.

Fun to make, this is a different type of bib necklace.

Day 21, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

For Day 21 of the 30 Day Bead Challenge, the task was to expand bead weaving skills and learn a new stitch or technique.

Well if you read my post for day 16 you’re already aware I’m not a bead weaver, despite the day 2 post. That bracelet was made about 4 years ago when I was first exploring the world of hand crafted jewellery. I was pleased with how it turned out and now I remember why I stopped doing bead weaving. It’s way harder than I remember!

So, for day 21 I decided to try more of the new types of beads and went with Tila beads and Superduos for this bracelet.

Tiled Bracelet

I did use some of my stash of tiny size 11 seed beads in gold, but no weaving involved. The bracelet concept was based on a pattern featured on the Domestic Diva website but I ran my cord along the length instead of weaving in and out, and ended up with a very different looking bracelet.

Friday 20 March 2015

We’re All Ears March Inspiration Challenge

The inspiration photos for the March Earrings Everyday challenge were macro photos of dragonflies and damselflies taken by Martin Amm, a German nature photographer. Here’s the photo that resonated most with me.

I had on hand some glass button beads in similar shades, and with a bubbly surface texture that imitated the dew on the dragonflies. Talk about a bonus!

I chose to use beading wire to make a circle shape and used 14Kt Gold Filled jump rings and ear wires.

Bubbles Earrings

The shape is imperfect, which I hope adds to the charm of the earrings.

Day 20, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Celebrate Mother Nature today with a piece inspired by the great outdoors.  This jewellery set was inspired by the rustic stoneware focal beads created by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl studio.

Rusticated Necklace (Sold)

The gemstones are Dragon Blood Jasper and White Turtle Jasper. I used Gunmetal for the pendant bail, toggle clasp and finishing crimp covers.

Rusticated Earrings

The bracelet focuses on the gemstones.

Rusticated Bracelet (Sold)

Thursday 19 March 2015

Day 19, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

The challenge for day 19 was to use rose gold in a design. I decided to try a free form vine bracelet, based on this tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Swirling Vine Bracelet

Because this was the first time I tried this pattern I made it all with non-tarnish craft wire. The instructions recommend 18 gauge wire for the frame and 20 gauge for the vine wraps.

I used gunmetal for the frame because I thought it would make the rose gold pop better, but only had 18 gauge rose gold wire. I used it for the vines anyway, though I think it cause extra distortion of the frame wire than expected, more visible in the bottom photo. The rose gold shows well in the actual bracelet, however is kind of washed out in the photos. Maybe too much adjustment of the brightness and contrast.

I added 3 glass trumpet lily flowers for fun.

I would love to get your comments on the 2 wire colours. What do you think of it?

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Day 18, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Today we celebrate birthdays by making a birthstone themed piece for someone we love.

My mother’s birthday is in October. I found several charts that list aquamarine as one of the birthstones for October. So, in honour of my mother, here’s an aquamarine necklace I had made previously.

Golden Aqua Necklace

This necklace celebrates all the colour variations that aquamarine comes in. I used 14 Kt Gold Filled beads to separate the gemstone beads and 14 Kt Gold Filled components and clasp to finish the necklace.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Day 17, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

The challenge for day 17 was to make a charm bracelet, contemporary or classic.

I chose to go contemporary and used memory wire to make bangle bracelets, one with brushed steel and silver colours and one with gold plated wire.

Jangle Fun Bangles

The brushed steel bangle has a Glass trumpet lily in Iris Garden, Freshwater Pearl dyed Steel Grey, Antiqued Silver Plated heart Charm, Swarovski Crystal in light sapphire and faceted blue Goldstone.

The gold plated bangle has a Glass trumpet lily in Citrus Splash, Baroque Freshwater Pearl coin in Peach, Antiqued Brass heart Locket, Swarovski Crystal in clear Crystal and Feldspar.

Monday 16 March 2015

Day 16, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

After checking out what everyone else made I decided my original post idea probably did not fit the ask. I decided I would try to make a beaded bezel, however I’m not a bead weaver so I wanted to make a different type of bezel. I chose a Blue Goldstone GoGo Donut to add a bezel to. Because it has the large hole I wanted to make one that would wrap around the stone.

I planned to make a right angle weave piece. After 4 attempts and 4 failures I gained a new respect for anyone who works with those tiny seed Beads and turns out amazing designs.

I eventually turned to wire, stringing the seed beads onto 3 lengths of wire and wrapping and twisting to form a bail. Because the stone had some minor damage, I used a hypo cement glue to add Swarovski Crystals on top of the damaged sections. I lost the name of the colour but they remind me of black diamond colouring.

Disco Shine Pendant

My originally planned post is below.

To meet today’s challenge for a handmade bezel I decided to go with a wrapped bezel. Not sure if it qualifies but my metal working skills were not up to the timeline of the challenge.

I took a gorgeous Dogtooth Amethyst with an unusual shape and wrapped it with half round Sterling Silver wire. That unusual shape? It reminded me of an apple.

An Apple A Day Pendant

Sunday 15 March 2015

Day 15, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Today the call was to make braided jewellery using Kumihimo techniques. This is a special type of cord or thread weaving to make ropes for jewellery use. It’s also not a technique I have tried nor have the supplies for.

Instead, I made a braided bracelet with C-Lon cord, a 3-ply twisted multi-filament nylon thread, Aventurine and Lilac Stone beads, and finished it off with Antiqued Brass end caps and Star toggle clasp.

Bright Days Braided Bracelet

We’re halfway through and I’m still hanging in for the challenges. Woo!

Saturday 14 March 2015

Day 14, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

For day 14 we were requested to find the bead that’s been in our hoard stash the longest and use it in a new design. I pulled out 3 types of beads that have been around for a long time – New Jade with carvings, Rhodonite tubes and Wood beads.  After putting the combination together I was so inspired that I made 3 co-ordinating pieces.

Spring Homage Necklace

Spring Homage Bracelet

Spring Homage Earrings

Friday 13 March 2015

Day 13, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Today’s challenge was about using a metal colour never used before. I have used pretty much every type of metal, recently exploring the possibilities of bronze and antiqued bronze wire. I have not used coloured wire and have none on hand. Since I’m in a “Do not buy more” phase (she said with a laugh) I haven’t purchased any more wire for the challenge. I decided I would feature a bracelet that I made some time ago.

Spiral Train Bracelet

This bracelet is made from a heavy 14 gauge pure copper wire. I hand formed each spiral in the bracelet then hammered them flat and textured and linked everything together by hand. It was quite a hand and arm workout. I’m happy with how the bracelet turned out.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Day 12, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Some serious bling was requested for today. Use Swarovski Crystals, they said, specifically bicones. Well, I met that challenge.

I made 2 pairs of hoop earrings, with 4 mm Swarovski Crystal bicones.

Blushin’ Earrings (Sold)
The first pair is made with Crystal Golden Shadow & Crystal Chili Pepper Swarovski Crystal bicones.

Spring Has Sprung Earrings (Sold)

I was so happy with how they turned out that I immediately made another pair, this time with Crystal clear bicones, Chrysolite Satin and Fern Green colours

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Day 11, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Today’s challenge inspiration was based on leather – use leather in your jewellery. Now leather is something I’ve used quite a bit lately in my designs, but I have not played with the latest craze in leather, large hollow core round leather.

The bracelet that I made uses leather dyed a beautiful rich shade of purple with a pattern that is alternately shiny and matte that’s been stamped into it. The pattern does not come off – believe me I’ve tried. (I struggled with getting the colour to come out properly in the photos. It’s a difficult colour to photograph.)

Boa Love
The bracelet shape is maintained by running memory wire through the middle core. I used a patterned and antiqued silver plated clasp and added 2 charms, a Celtic heart knot and a round one with a heart on one side and the word love on the other.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Day 10, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

For Day 10 the challenge was to give two-hole beads a try. 

I’ve worked with Tila beads before but not with the requested SuperDuo beads. It took me a few extra days but I finally finished my bracelet today. In hindsight, as soon as I decided to use gold as the complementary colour, I should have switched the beading wire to another colour. Oh well, next time. My daughter has claimed this bracelet. 

 I’m not a bead stitcher so I thought I’d try making a strung bracelet. I used a combination of 3 sets of SuperDuo beads and some tiny seed beads. There were a few false starts but once I got going everything went together well. I had some other things I needed to get done tonight (Monday) and have not been able to finish. Here’s a look at the progress to date.

Monday 9 March 2015

Day 9, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

A Sweeping Style Statement was the request for Day 9 of the 30 day challenge. Everyone was asked to make a long necklace.

Slices and Rounds Necklace

This necklace has Mookaite Jasper Slices and Bronzite Obsidian Rounds wire wrapped to a Sterling Silver chain with large round links. The necklace is 34 inches long. I added a Sterling Silver Lobster Claw Clasp for anyone who may wish to double wrap the necklace.

Sunday 8 March 2015

Day 8, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Day 8 of the 30 day challenge was dedicated to spring cleaning. You may have seen mypost from mid-January where I blogged about this very subject. Today I decided to work on the office side of the studio

The before photo is a combination of 2 separate photos. I had actually started cleaning up before taking them, then I remembered I needed the photos. The new shelf holds my new Silhouette Cameo printer, which was sitting in a box for too many months.

The after photo shows the missing items sitting under the shelf. Pretty good for a half day’s effort.

Saturday 7 March 2015

Day 7, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Go wild for wire! That was the call to action and I did. I made a new wire bird nest.

Feathered Nest Pendant

I used copper wire, with no protective coating, to make the nest and carefully shaped and work hardened the wire, then added white glass pearl beads. The bail is integrated into the nest. One of the wire ends was used to make it.

Once the nest was finished I dipped it into a liver of sulphur solution to darken the copper and give it patina. Well I guess I made the solution stronger than usual because boy did it ever darken. Out came the pro polish pad to take off more of the patina than usual. Once the colour was where I wanted it a permanent sealant was added to protect the birds nest.

Friday 6 March 2015

Day 6, Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

Today’s design is a statement piece inspired by a TV show or film.

My choice has been both a Broadway play and a movie - Chicago

Black and Gold Redux (Sold)
This is a very long necklace with an inner (22”) and an outer (26 ½”) chain.

The outer chain has a brass chain and a black cotton cord tightly wound together. They do not come apart!

The inner chain is gunmetal with deep black onyx beads in 2 sizes held in place with heavy gauge brass wire. A pendant with another onyx bead, gold plated flower cap and more gunmetal chain is hung from it. I also wrapped black silk cord between the bead and flower.