Tag Archives: crystal

Pacific Montee

This bracelet popped out of nowhere during a creative slump. I wasn’t intending to make anything in particular, I just needed to start something. A lot of tinkering around with different beads eventually lead to this design, that I absolutely love. It’s the first design in which I’ve used Rose Montees and I couldn’t be happier.

Living in New Zealand, I’m constantly exposed to Pacific Island culture and design.  The motif created by the layout of beads is reminiscent of the flower images often found on traditional Polynesian Tapa cloths. I’d like to say that that was the inspiration behind this bracelet, but the truth is, I didn’t see the Polynesian motif in the design until a friend made the Pacific connection when I was looking for a name for the pattern (Thanks Hayley!).

Of course, there is a tutorial for this bracelet, which you can find, with a materials list, here.

IMG_20171217_125307-01

 

Advertisements

Learning Something New

Many moons ago I purchased, with good intention, a piece of Nicole’s Bead-backing along with a square of dark blue ultrasuede. Having spent countless hours sitting enchanted at the amazing examples of bead embroidery on my computer screen, I decided to give it a crack. But before I started, I became distracted with a gazillion other shiny projects and my plans were forgotten.

Not so long ago, I found those two enticing pieces of fabric, and so put thread to needle. With out any clear planning of what I was making,  I sketched a design on the bead-backing, bezeled on a cabochon, completely ignored my design and made a thing. It was pretty rough in places, and a poorly placed pearl came loose, but as I progressed, my stitches improved.

2015-07-05 10.30.05

In my next piece, I was confident enough to use a pretty copper Swarovski Cosmic crystal. I only use my crystals if I’m confident, because wasting crystals is an unforgivable sin. With the addition of some turquoise, orange, dark brown, and copper, I turned it into a super awesome unique necklace.

DSC04963

A Cosmic Tutorial and an Unplanned Detour

I promised a beady post and here it is! My Cosmic Necklace tutorial is available in my Etsy store,  and one physical version of the necklace has also been listed for sale.  I adore the Swarovski Cosmic Rings, it’s so difficult to choose which colour to use; they’re all so pretty. The instructions are very thorough and easy to follow. I hope you enjoy it.

20150312_143959

20150424_165330

I’ve also started working on my next CGB piece. I’m not yet sure where I’m headed with it. I’ll go with my tried and true method of making it up as I go. I have also started a second, more personal blog, Unplanned Detour, which will follow me through my marital upheaval. It’s where I will share my experiences, thoughts, frustrations and general nonsense, with a touch of humour. Be warned though, it’s me, unfiltered. If you’re easily offended or don’t like bad language, might be wise to stay away.

Also, maybe don't visit if you don't appreciate terrible ClipArt

Also, maybe don’t visit if you don’t appreciate terrible ClipArt

Onward and Upward

I’m happy to announce that I have my inspiration back. The last few weeks have been full of emotional ups and downs, but we’re on the right track and, most importantly, so is my beading. I’m super busy, but I’ve managed to keep my needle ticking along and it’s been a wonderful creative outlet for everything going on in my head. First I made myself a pair of sparkly earrings to cheer myself up, then I made three more pairs just because. Next, I decided that dark times called for neon colours and chained a bunch of beaded beads together to make a fun necklace with Superduo’s and O-beads.

20150309_142217 20150312_143556

Then, near tragedy struck, when I ran out of Fireline and had no money left to buy any. I have a policy that (ex) Husband’s earnings don’t pay for my jewellery materials, so I have to sell things to buy things. Considering our current situation, it would be a little too cheeky of me to break that rule now.  It’s been a long time since I sold anything; the coffers are bone-dry.

Then a most wonderful, amazing, generous person, surprised me with a deposit in my bank account. I actually cried. Not over the Fireline, although it is pretty amazing stuff, I cried that someone cared enough to do that for me. My day had been horrendous, and this gesture reminded me that the world is full of good people who care about other people.

Feeling inspired I immediately rummaged through my stash and found beads and crystals that reminded me of my Fireline Fairy, who by all accounts, has the most gorgeous blue eyes. With my newly purchased Fireline, I managed to pull them together to become this silver and blue herringbone necklace with Bermuda Blue Swarovski Cosmic Crystals and a peyote bail. I’m slightly hesitant, as it may be a touch too long for her, but I can alter it if necessary. I just hope she likes it.

20150312_143959

But it’s onward and upward for me. I’ve been applying for jobs left, right, and centre, looking at houses to live in, working and reworking my budget over and over to try to make it tell me something different, and just generally swinging wildly from stress to elation. I’m happy/nervous/scared/excited and I don’t quite know how things are going to work out, but I know that with a little time, work out they will.

Back in the Swing of Things

My energy levels are creeping back up, and it’s a good thing too, with everyone in the family except myself, infectious and bacteria ridden. This makes me the obligatory midnight nose wiper, cuddle giver, sibling separator and medicine dispenser.  Long may I fend off their disgusting affliction.

Happily, my beading is back on track, with a new Rick-Rack from Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. This one isn’t going to be a bangle, however; I have an entirely different plan. I’m keeping mum on it until I know for sure that it’s going to work. I’m enjoying the simplicity of working in a gradient of colours instead of following a pattern.

rickrack

I’m also very slowly working on a tutorial for my new Burlesque bangles.  I’m not getting a lot of uninterrupted computer time at the moment, so it’s taking a while. If I’m completely honest, I kind of keep forgetting that I’m working on it. I’ll get there eventually. I haven’t managed to get photos of the bangles that do them justice. They look kind of messy in still images, but in real life, they’re beautiful and sparkly. Swarovski crystals can only truly be appreciated in motion.

burlesque (2)

Getting Back My Mojo

Creativity doesn’t always come easily to me. Sometimes I go through phases where ideas don’t flow; my guiding force has come up lame and I feel stifled. There’s a sense of claustrophobia that comes with being unable to create successfully, it’s like an external force bearing down on me, preventing that something from getting out. Luckily such phases are relatively shortlived, and once they pass, I can get on with enjoying the process.

004

Success with Miyuki beads

candace (1)

Christine necklace Version 1.0

My most recent phase of creative constipation, I dealt with by weaving a length of plain, single-colour crochet, which I turned into a simple necklace. Once it was finished, I still felt un-enthused. I persevered because of a secret unreasonable fear that if I “take a break”, I may not ever start again. A new bracelet design eventuated, which I loved, then I added a circular peyote stitched button clasp. It was my first attempt at circular peyote, so I thought I’d try it again, but my second result was wonky. Still not out of my slump, I felt disheartened, even though I was aware that my failure was most likely due to the use of Czech seed beads, whereas my initial design was made with the much more consistent Japanese Miyuki beads. My supply of Japanese seed beads is very limited, with the vast majority of my stash being Czech, so I took to the internet and ordered a modest amount of Toho seed beads in delicious bright colours. When they arrived, I felt rejuvenated. I’ve never worked with Toho seeds before, but they are my new favourites. They’re perfect little units, and the hole on the 11/0’s is wide enough to slip a jump-ring through, which is a huge bonus for finishing all manner of trinkets.

With my new loves at the ready, I quickly whipped up a necklace in Hot Pink, Lemon, Lime and Sky Blue, using the same technique as my bracelet. But found that the chain twisted  when worn. But my creative flow was functioning again, and a simple solution was quickly found and I began stitching my final design. I intend to try that bracelet again, I’m determined to conquer circular peyote, this time in Tohos.

(Edit: I originally named the necklace Candace, however I have now renamed it Christine in honor of the woman who was the receive the pink version for her birthday next week. Christine tragically passed away as the result of an accident on Saturday night after spending the evening babysitting her grandchildren. Much love to her family.)

Completed Candace necklace, available at http://jsjewellery.storenvy.com/

Completed Candace necklace, available at http://jsjewellery.storenvy.com/

Snuffy, Peter Jackson and Hector

stormThis morning I lay in bed, not quite ready to function yet. I could hear my 3 year old son calling out to me, but I couldn’t register what I was hearing. My brain was still busy trying to process what I had just seen. A rickety old ship was being battered about by an extremely choppy ocean, it’s mast threatening to topple. On board, a wet and panicked Peter Jackson tried desperately to coax a Snuffleupagus out of his melancholy so that he could shoot a scene. Snuffy was lamenting his lack of a soulmate and bitterly suggested that he might consider buying a “girlfriend” (of the night) with his share of the movie proceeds. I’m really not sure what inner turmoil my subconscious was dealing with by creating such a surreal Sesame Street/A Perfect Storm/Meet the Feebles cross over, and I’m not sure I want to know.

At least my conscious mind is functioning adequately. For the most part. I need more wire practice so I’m working on some wire focal pieces, destined to become bracelets.

June (7)

I make these in a free-form manner, because if I try to plan them, I just get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. The result isn’t always pretty, but I am improving, although sometimes the unexpected happens. Which is how Hector the PeaChick came into existence. My daughter asked why he didn’t have any legs, so I explained that he’s kind of like an Angry Bird, which she readily accepted. He’s not exactly a masterfully rendered little fellow, but I like him. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with him; I suspect he’ll just remain my own little mascot.

Meet Hector

Meet Hector