While Working On The New Earring Design…

•March 24, 2020 • 2 Comments

I’ve gotten sidetracked. Perhaps you remember a cuff I designed several years ago titled “Modular Concept”?  I retired the kit some time ago.  The original kit included a handmade bronze metal clay clasp, but I started to have problems with firing the metal clay and large pieces were simply not as strong as I needed them to be.  The tutorial for this piece has always been very popular, but this past week I had a request from a customer as to whether I would be willing to make the beading kit available again. So I’ve decided to bring the kit out of retirement and I’ve substituted a clasp made of metallic bronze polymer clay for the original metal clay clasp…the new polymer clasp included with the beading kit is shown in the top photo.   Not only is the new clasp very attractive and functional, but pretty much indestructible!  If you happen to drop the clasp and accidentally step on it (as I did with the original metal clay clasp I used in the prototype!) the new clasp will not break or chip.  You can find the beading kit in my Etsy shop.  Now, back to work on my new Geometric beaded earrings design!

These Are Strange Days, so…

•March 18, 2020 • Leave a Comment

What better time than now to stay indoors and bead!  In 1918 the Spanish Flu swept the earth and felled millions, but unless you were around at that time living through a pandemic is a totally new experience.  People are being encouraged to stay indoors, avoid crowds, meeting places, and group activities. Restrictions and lockdowns are occurring as restaurants, bars, and businesses are either closing or limiting hours to prevent spread of the coronavirus.  This is a serious change in life for a multitude of people. Fortunately, I’m a homebody working from my studio and I never experience cabin fever.  I truly don’t like to leave home for travel or much else.  Home is where the cats and all my “toys” are…it’s my comfort zone, and thankfully, the internet brings the world to me.  Shopping is at my fingertips and goods are delivered to my door.  Being an only child forced me to become self-sufficient and encouraged me to find creative ways to spend time.  That being said, color, pattern, and geometric warped squares are my focus at the moment.  A new earring design is in the works that I’m quite exited about!  Kits and a tutorial will be available soon…stay tuned!

Beading Adventures in Paradise…

•March 10, 2020 • 2 Comments

If you’ve wondered why I haven’t posted recently, it’s because a well-deserved vacation had been in order for some time.  There truly is nothing like beadweaving to the sound of waves crashing on the shore, palm fronds rustling in the wind, exotic birds chirping sweetly, and the crowing and clucking of the ubiquitous population of roosters and hens on the island of Kauai.  Lush greenery and warm weather certainly lends a vivid contrast to the Ansel Adams black and white of a Midwest Winter!  I’ve been working on a series of geometric warped squares and exploring pattern design. These components will become wonderful, lightweight earrings.  I have been inspired by the webs of the island garden spider with its X-shaped legs and black and yellow markings.  The bright colors of tropical plants feel so right for the advent of spring!  I’ll be working on color charts and tutorials for several new designs…stay tuned!

Believe Me…

•February 19, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Being an artist is not “all fun and games”, especially for one who designs beadwoven creations and writes tutorials, both of which require an enormous amount of time.  Assembling beading kits is another task that devours hours that might otherwise be spent creating art.  The process entails weighing and/or counting numerous colors and quantities of beads, printing labels and attaching them to the individual packettes that will hold the beads, making kit envelopes and printing the tutorials included with each kit.  I discovered that my stock of assembled kits had dwindled significantly over the holidays and was in dire need of replenishment.   I’ve spent the past two weeks feeling much like a one-person assembly line, but that and much more is all part of the business of art!  I have scheduled a brief and much needed respite in early March during which time I look forward to engaging in rest and relaxation, “smelling the roses” and maybe I’ll even do a bit of beading just for fun!

At This Time Every Year…

•February 6, 2020 • 2 Comments

When winter still holds a firm grasp in the Midwest and the dreariness of cold and grey skies abound, my very being begins to crave color! As in past years, I find myself lured as if by a Siren’s song to colorful beads! Today my work table is overflowing with my inventory of Delica beads.  Round seed beads, bugles, fringe and other bead types that haven’t seen the light of day in months will be saved for another day. I need to reorganize this stash before I can even begin to think about creating new beaded designs. When I do, you can bet I’ll be choosing vivid, happy colors that almost shout “Winter be gone!” and “Joie de vivre”!  I certainly will not be ready for subdued tones until next fall!  When I’ve sorted through this stockpile and selected colors, I’ll begin to start the designing process and work up pattern samples. I’m always torn between wanting to work with Geometric designs or playing with bead embroidery…I love doing both! And at this point I have no idea if the project will be a necklace, bracelet, earrings, or brooch.  After working with metal for so many months I’m hoping inspiration for a new design will come to fruition without encountering creative roadblocks. Changing from one medium to another can be a challenge as my brain needs time to disengage from what I’ve been doing and free up space to focus on new media and ideas. But it’s all part of the creative journey and I love every minute of it!

There’s a Saying…

•January 29, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Less is sometimes more.  The silver pendant shown above is a large, rather heavy and substantial piece and the 24″ double link chain carries the weight beautifully. What this necklace doesn’t need is a lot of fussy additions that would create a distraction. Measuring 65mm x 40mm x 15mm, the textured bezel holds a chunk of petrified wood surrounded by a narrow boarder of resin faux druzy.  The orbs that surround the bezel are all the decoration that is called for.  I’ve titled this piece “Castle Rock” because it has a medieval theme.
However, I think that depending on the piece, sometimes more is much better!  Case in point; the “Magpie Treasure” fetish necklace that I made over a year ago started with just three charm components hanging at the bottom…the deer antler, a resin faux peridot crystal, and a fine silver bellflower.  Since then, I’ve gradually added more charms, one or two at a time rearranging each charm for balance.  A silver pod and a small silver branch that I made in a casting class years ago came next, followed several months later by a cast silver twig and a carved horn raven’s head. And now with the addition of a tiny silver ladder that I fabricated some thirty years ago and another cast twig the necklace is now complete.  I’ve enjoyed every facet of making this piece.  The history as well as the energy that went into the creation of each charm makes this a very special necklace and I wear it almost every day.  It goes well with almost every garment I own and I like to think it brings me good luck!

It’s What’s On Your Workbench Wednesday!

•January 22, 2020 • 2 Comments

Here’s what I’ve been working on…bezels and charms.  I’m now ready to set the oval moss-colored nephrite cabochon into a bezel that has a star cutout on the backside.  I like the backside of jewelry to be as interesting as the front…it’s a nice extra touch, I think!  Measuring 55mm in length, the bezel on the left side of this photo is uneven in height as is the piece of petrified wood that will fit into it.  I intend to secure the petrified wood in a bed of resin faux druzy.  The contrast of shine and sparkle juxtaposing with the dullness of the brown bark will be interesting!  Next to the cast silver twig charm is a resin faux beryl crystal that will fit into a hanging bezel and dangle as a charm on a necklace I’ve yet to design. The bezel pictured at upper left will hold a shallow 10mm paua shell cabochon and be added to another component as yet unplanned. Having lots of components on hand to use in future projects is a good thing!  I hope to have several finished soon to show you in my next post.  So…what projects are you working on?  

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