Monday, March 31, 2014

Beaded Kumihimo - Always Something

Or so it would seem.  I finished up a few necklaces and even added one more to the mix as well.  Altogether, I've made 6 beaded kumi necklaces and 2 of them, nearly finished mind you, had to be torn apart.  Such things happen.  I also put together a ceramic beaded bracelet featuring one of my own lampwork beads as a focal.  That is in my Etsy shop if you want to see.  :)  So it's been a busy couple of weeks - Thankfully.  If I didn't have all of those beads, I'd be pretty bored while my foot is healing. 

So the "always something" part is about to be revealed.  As I was making all of those necklaces, I noticed something in a few of them I had not experienced before.  The end of a couple of them were "loose".  That really doesn't say much so I will try to explain further.  I found, as I was moving along towards placing the last rows of beads in the braid, the beads were becoming loose for some reason.  They were "tucking" in underneath the cords as they were suppose to and staying there but the whole end part, about an inch or so of the braid, was becoming loose.  The beads were not as tightly "woven" as they were throughout the rest of the braid.  Why ?  I am still not 100% sure but I thought that maybe, it's due to the weight of the braid itself really stretching the cord at the end only.  Still, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense if the rest of the braids remained perfectly fine, it's just the end part.  I use Omega #2 cord as I have mentioned in the past and this has never happened before so I am uneasy to put the blame there.  It never happened to ANY of the bracelets I have ever made and only has happened to a couple of the necklaces I recently made.  It's a mystery to me right now and one that I need to figure out.  Is it something I'm doing that's the cause ?  I have changed nothing in the way I finish the braids so.....................

If you have any suggestions or can figure out a reason, please leave a comment below. 

In the meantime, a few of photo's of 3 of the finished braids and the bracelet I made. 

Thanks for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon ! 
Have a wonderful week ! 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Finally - A Little Something

It's been a very long couple of weeks with little to do - or so I kept telling myself.  A broken foot can be prohibitive afterall !!  lol !  Finally I've come out of the "funk" I was in.  Figured I could sit and mope about being bored or do something about it.  lol !  I did something about it and am having fun again !  I can't make beads right now but I sure can do other crafty things. 

I dug into my seed bead cabinet and decided it was time to start foolin' around with the long magatama's again.  They look so darned nice in jewelry any way one uses them.  I am fascinated with their shape to begin with.  This is an ingenious shape in my opinion.  lol !  Right now, I can think of a few ways to incorporate them into necklaces, bracelets and earrings and that's about it however,  I'm thinking they would look great in some bead embroidery as well.  I haven't tried that but it certainly would add some dimension to a piece.  I'm guessing someone somewhere has tried it although I haven't seen it yet.  If anyone out there has seen them used in a embroidered piece, please drop me a note and let me know cause I'd LOVE to see it ! 

Anyway, so far, I've put together 3 pieces using these little seed bead gems.  One is a finished necklace I think I'm going to wear at a wedding.  The other two are waiting to be finished.  I need a couple of supplies I had to order and am waiting on.  I found a new way to finish off the ends I want to try and need those supplies to do it.  I'll talk more about that in my next post.  :) 

In the picture below, the gold and silver necklace is finished and the perfect length for me.  It took me a little longer than "normal" to braid it because I hadn't made a beaded kumihimo necklace in a VERY long time.  lol !  I think it turned out very pretty.  I've always wanted a piece with silver and gold in it.  I intend to make earrings to match and possibly a bracelet that I'd wear separately.  

The other two are also necklaces but as I mentioned before, they're unfinished.  Don't ya just hate waiting on parts ??  lol !  I love the way both have turned out !!  I'll post full pictures of everything when they are finished and give details.  :) 
 I must say, it feels GREAT to be productive again !  I am enjoying beaded braiding again too after a LONG hiatus.  Thankfully, I had just about all I needed to get these necklaces up and running.  :)
Time to get my day started.  Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again very soon ! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Latest Update

February was a long month away from home !  It's time to update this blog that's for sure.  lol ! 
There's nothing new to show since I was away for so long.  No new beads or jewelry.  I hope to try my hand at some jewelry as I won't be able to do much of anything else.  I'd love to torch but my foot won't allow it right now.  lol !  See, I broke my foot on the 21st.  And I wasn't even having any fun when I did it !  My right foot just did a "side slide" and hit the pavement and rocks.  I ended up with the 5th metatarsal Valusion break.  I've never heard of such a thing.  Doesn't matter though cause it's a break and now I have a big ole' boot on and have to use crutches.  Let me tell ya, gettin' thru the airport last weekend was a bear but at least the one I left from was pretty small.  It was the Atlanta airport I HAD to have a wheelchair and Thank-Goodness for that !  At least I'm home now and it feels pretty good to be here. 

The Etsy shop is open again and I will be able to ship now.  Hope you find something you like there.  Nothing new but hopefully some new jewelry soon.

Since I haven't made anything new lately, here's a few pics of things I've done in the past.

First pic is of some bell flowers I made.  The glass and colors are fabulous !

Second pic of beads I made a while back while practicing encasing flowers.  

Third pic is of some nice twisties I made long ago and are pretty much used up.  :) 

Thanks so much for coming by.  Come back again soon ! 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Having More Jewelry Fun - Barn Owl Necklace

I'm still not able to torch so I'm still into making some jewelry pieces and just having so much fun doing it again !  I feel very much inspired with all these new beads and some new pendants to "play" with.  :)  This latest piece I ventured back into beaded Kumihimo again and may I say, I LOVE the outcome.  :)  So very pleased with this necklace I don't know if I'll sell it or keep it.  lol !  Still the pendant is the star in this piece.  The Barn Owl porcelain pendant made by artist Laura Mears.  Wow !  Fabulous work.  I want more of her pieces even though I have no idea what I want to do with them.  I still have an otter and a hummingbird I need to work with. 

It finally came to me in one flash of a moment what I needed to do with this owl.  Instead of doing the typical bead embroidery around it, it needed to really shine in whatever I ended up doing.  So the best thing I could decide on was to just leave it as it is.  I needed to add the bails to it to be able to attach it but that was all.  I made the right decision.  :)  

That's all for now.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.  One of these days, I'll be able to torch again !  lol ! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bead Addictions Can Be Costly !

I'm sure that's true for any addiction but at least with a bead addiction, it's fun, it's colorful, it can be creative.  :)  All of the afore mentioned is where it's at for me these last going on 10 years !  Wow !  I just now realized it's been 10 years on my bead journey.  Something I began 10 years ago has grown to include many things that branched out from beads.  Like Kumihimo, dyeing silk cords, Viking knit and the list goes on.  :)  But the real true love, the one I continue to always come back to that's deep in my heart is melting that glass into a pretty little bead.  :)  Doesn't matter the size, the outcome, the colors, it's ALL good.  :)  Yes, costly indeed.  :)  Still, I regret not one penny spent.  It has taken me to a place I had not known prior to the discovery - a place of knowing where I belong and what I was suppose to do for ME.  It took me a very long time to arrive.  I DID arrive there though and that's what it's all about.  :)  

For now, that glass melting is on hold due to weather and all that's keeping my mind preoccupied with family stuff.  Still, with the discovery of those fabulous Greek beads, I do get the opportunity to play a bit and make a piece or two of jewelry.  These beads just have my complete attention at this time !  This past week I put together a few more pieces using those beads.  :)  I was able to "test drive" a necklace and earrings I'm keeping last night and I loved how the necklace felt.  Lightweight and easy.  I purposely did not put a clasp on it since it's long enough to go over my head.  I prefer my own necklaces to be like that.  Anyway, it worked perfectly with my dark orange shirt and became the focal piece of what I was wearing.  That makes me happy.  :)  

So here's what I worked on this past week.  Two more sets pictured below.  The first set is very similar to the original set I made pictured in the previous post but has more earth tones & the necklace is longer.  The second set is much more earthy and organic in color, there are less beads used and a lot of the beads are smaller.  I left the bracelet unfinished so that whomever purchases it, I'll be able to fit it to their wrist.  :)  Both sets are in my Etsy Shop now.

That's all for this week.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon to see what's goin' on.  :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year - New Ideas - New Fun

Ok so the holidays are over for a while.  It was fun and exciting for a brief moment but now it's time to move forward.  The New Year always starts off (for me) with, " Ok, now what ?"  lol !  Do I stick with the same ole' same ole' or try something new ?  Challenging myself can sometimes be regrettable.  lol !  Still, I don't want to give up nor do I purposely give up. Sometimes, life gets in the way and that's just not a silly excuse.  Right now, we have so much happening within our family it's almost funny.  It's all good stuff but will keep us on our toes over the next several months.  With weather the way it's been, all that's been and will be happening, I don't see spending too much time at my beloved torch. sigh.  Making jewelry is what I fall back on during the rough weather times.  Only on the "warmer" days will I be able to light it up.  :)  

As to what new things are on my mind.  I have "discovered" new to me beads !  They are Greek ceramic beads and have been around for some time but are new to me.  May I say I LOVE them !!  I love everything about them !  The colors, the textures, the shapes !  They make me VERY happy !  In particular the matte ceramics.  Yummmmm !  lol !  I ordered some from a fellow lampworker and that started my latest addiction ! :)  I found a wholesaler and the order I placed arrives today.  I'm very excited and can't wait to make LOTS of jewelry !  

For working at my torch.  As soon as the weather clears and warms just a bit I'm there !  I hope that's VERY soon.  I have new idea's floating in my head that need to be put to glass. 

In the meantime, here are two photo's of what I DID do this past week.  The first photo is of the set I made using those Greek beads only.  I LOVE it !  Not sure if it will go for sale.  lol !  The second photo is of a necklace I made using both the Greek beads (large plain purple beads and black tubes) and my own lampwork beads which are the black disks and the decorated purple beads in between the large plain purple beads.  I really like this necklace a lot.  It looks very elegant I think. This one I believe will be listed for sale in my Etsy shop when it reopens in March.

Time to wrap it up and start my day.  Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon ! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I'm Sorta Waiting

For this icy blast of cold air to leave.  lol !  Don't get me wrong - I still love winter, cold air and all but this icy cold is a bit much.  I really have the inclination and need to be at the torch now and I can't.  Too cold in my work area.  The kiln wouldn't even keep me warm.  lol !  With this cold air, I just wish it would snow.  And I don't mean just a bit of snow either but A FOOT would be real nice.  :)  Yes, I know, I'm crazy but I love the white stuff and miss it terribly.  sigh...........

Since I can't torch at this moment, I did manage to put together a "little" necklace.  Remember those 40 plus beads I made for the 40 bead challenge ?  Well, they've been sitting on my desk since finishing them.  I couldn't figure out what to do with them.  I don't wear jewelry much anymore.  Never wore necklaces at all but these beads were too big and too many to make a bracelet.  Mainly a bit too bulky.  So, a necklace they became.  Had to keep it simple because the beads, all put together, are HEAVY.  I weighed the finished piece and it weighs in at nearly 9 ounces.  Now, that might not sound like much but believe me - around the neck, it is !   lol !  Had to keep it simple.  Not much room for many additional componets.  Just added some tiny black beads to basically separate the big beads.  Wha-la.  I think it came together nicely.  I will wear it tonight to dinner out.  This sort of thing is more of a statement piece I guess you'd call it.  Simple yet your eye is drawn to it.  Hard NOT to look at all those big, round beads !  lol !  

Hopefully, I'll be at the torch soon.  Thanks so much for coming by !  Please come back again soon !