If You Were Alive in the 1950’s…

•May 17, 2020 • 4 Comments

You may recall Mad Magazine and its mascot, Alfred E. Neuman…his slogan was, “What Me Worry?”.  Oh, for those carefree days when we didn’t have to worry about staying alive!  Life is vastly different these days and stress levels are extremely high with the advent of COVID-19.  I’ve found that we can lower that stress by accepting that it is what it is and that wishing the virus away won’t make it disappear. Frustration over our government’s inaction and ineptness is ineffectual.  We can only control how we react to reality and our actions to protect ourselves and others by taking every possible precaution.  Adapting to our “new normal” is definitely easier for naturally happy people and for those who see the cup as half-full rather than half-empty. Those who suffer from depression will understandably have a greater challenge dealing with anxiety and fear resulting from the pandemic.  Given all that is happening, I thought it might be beneficial to create some Worry Beads that can be touched and held as a reminder to focus on the here and now, of living and loving to the fullest each and every day we are given.  Will it help?  I don’t know, but it can’t hurt.  I recently read an interesting article regarding the use of beads for this purpose on a website called Safe Strings .  My string of Worry Beads shown here started with a tassel to which I’ve added colorful geometric beaded beads.  They are accompanied by beads made of carved bone, copal, ostrich eggshell, chunks of coral and Chinese turquoise disks, as well as polymer clay faux amber, turquoise and coral.  It is a chain of beads that can be held or attached to a belt or worn as a  necklace.  It’s a happy piece and couldn’t we all use a bit of happiness nowadays?

This Could Be The Start Of Something Big…

•May 6, 2020 • 2 Comments

Or maybe not.  This week I’m experimenting with colors and various geometric beaded shapes and working them into pendants and beads that may become integral components of a necklace.  The weather until today made it possible to bead outdoors on our screened porch.  Today it’s a bit overcast and cool so rather than retreat to my studio, I’m beading at the dining room table where there is an abundance of natural daylight and a beautiful view of the Mississippi River and Iowa beyond.  I’ve gathered up tubes of Delica and seed beads and stashed them in an empty tea canister, which makes a very convenient and portable method for transporting this collection of colors to and from various locations in the house.  I’ll keep playing and show you how I’ve progressed in a following post.  Until then…Happy Beading to you!

How Do You Store Your Jewelry?

•April 28, 2020 • 4 Comments

Drawers?  Boxes?  Hanging from the wall?  I store my jewelry in and on all of these, but the pieces that I wear most are always visible!  Colorful beaded pieces brighten my mood and put a smile on my face so I want them to be in plain sight where I can enjoy them!  I collect baskets and have found they are the perfect “catch all” for all matter of paraphernalia.  I found these baskets in a shop while on vacation in Kauai and have discovered that the narrow rims serve well for hanging earrings as the ear wires slip easily onto them.  In this case function and beauty go hand in hand!

Beading Kits are Ready!

•April 18, 2020 • 2 Comments

Yes!  Beading kits for my Geometric “Color Play Warped Square Mixed Pattern” Drop Earrings are now listed in my Etsy shop!  The tutorial was listed yesterday and this new design is being received with rave reviews!  I’ve been working on this project for well over a month.  As I completed each pair of earrings and “test drove” them by sending photos to friends, I’ve received so many compliments!  They truly are a delight to make and wear!

The Tutorial is Finished!

•April 16, 2020 • Leave a Comment

My latest earring tutorial, the “Color Play Warped Square Mixed Patterns” Drop Earrings, has now joined my series of geometric Color Play earrings and now listed! I just love these earrings! Graceful, swingy, whimsical and lightweight, these fashion statement earrings are such fun to wear!  As for the tutorial…large color photos accompany the easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. Charts for all of the colourways and pattern designs are included!  Bead color sequence is included with the color charts for those who have difficulty reading charts. Instruction for making a wire-worked dangle is included as well…it’s simple and you definitely will not need metalsmithing as a prerequisite!  This project is suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced beaders alike.  I’ll have beading kits for this designs listed in a my Etsy shop in a day or two.  Stay tuned!

Sneak Peek!

•April 14, 2020 • 3 Comments

I’m proofreading and putting the final touches on my latest tutorial!  I thought of calling these earrings Flutterbies because they do make me think of “lighter than air” flying creatures with dangly little legs.  Instead I’ve decided to include these Warped Square earrings in the Geometric “Color Play” series because each earring is truly an adventure in pattern design and color combinations.  The tutorial includes five different colourways and ten pattern design graphs (Belize Earring #1 and Jakarta Earring #3 share the same design but their colourways lend unique dissimilarity)!  Perhaps during this period of self isolation I’m traveling vicariously to exotic places in that I’ve named each colourway after a travel destination…Belize, Jakarta, Kauai, Provence, and Samoa.  I’ll be listing the tutorial and beading kits in my Etsy shop in a day or two so stay tuned!

Absolute Delight!

•April 8, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I’ve stayed indoors for a solid month now and whereas some people are going crazy, I haven’t really minded confinement.  Until today our weather has been cold and conducive to wearing cuddly clothing and staying warm indoors, but today…Wow!  The temperature has soared to the mid 70’s and I’m taking advantage of this fantastic day outdoors on our screened porch while beading several more warped squares.  What a joy to do the work I love while listening to the wind whispering as red tail hawks glide and soar and songbirds chirp!  They seem to be saying, “It’s spring!  It’s spring!  Time to build a nest!”  Squirrels are scampering and chasing each other up trees and back down.  And I’m wearing summer-weight clothing and sandals for the first time in what seems like forever!  I hope our weather stays this way for a while because it is pure joy!  P.S. I’ll have a new tutorial featuring a variety of warped square earring designs very soon!

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