Wednesday, July 30, 2008


For those of you who are avid readers of my blog and wait with baited breath for each new entry, you'd better sit down.  

No, I'm not deserting blog-land.  Let's just get that out there straight away.

But I am moving in a little over a week, which means I'm not doing as much beading right now.  Because supposedly I'm packing up my house.  Consequently, there probably won't be any new pieces to show until after I've moved.  Of course, then I'll be starting grad school again (I'm planning to actually get that degree this time), so beading time will become a luxury item.  Therefore, blog posts might be few and far between.  As a result, you should subscribe to the RSS feed or whatever-mathingy you do like that so you can be automatically notified when there IS a new post. :)

And I promise to keep you updated on my creative life, even when it's moving slower!

(I am looking forward to round two of grad school.  I'm gonna co-teach intro geology, so here's to molding young minds!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Manicured Garden

That's what I decided to name this newest cuff.  When it was finished it looked to me like perfect grassy paths lined with well trimmed bushes leading up to a forested area, with every tree in its proper place. 

In general, I'm a fan of wild vegetation - I like it when bushes, flowers, grasses, etc. intermingle.  Perfect suburban lawns are not my cup of tea, but hiking through the mountains seeing wildflowers in bloom is.  When I went to school in suburban Chicago, the first spring flowers were grid-like tulips and daffodils looking very lonely in their perfect place surrounded by mulch.  That was very depressing to this Equator-raised girl, used to much more bushy and wild vegetation.  Me, I can't be bothered to raise plants purely for their aesthetic value.  I do enjoy it when my okra and zucchini starts to bloom, though!

However, this is not plants in soil, it's a bracelet.  And although it reminds me of a manicured garden, I like it. :)  I like how it's spiky and how the 'bushes' add another touch of dimensionality to it.  Sometimes, it's okay for everything to be in its proper place.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


A while back, there was a bit of a 'triangle craze' going on in the Etsy Beadweaver's team.  They looked pretty neat, so I dutifully made a triangle.  My next thought was 'I wonder if I can use the same basic principle to make a square.'  So I tried it out, and got a square like shape that wouldn't lie flat.  At that point in time, I wanted a flat square for a pair of earrings, so I messed around and ended up making a relatively decent flat square.  

But I kept the dimensional square stored away at the back of my mind 'for later use.'  Yesterday, I pulled it to the forefront.  Using two shades of a corally pink, I made 7 of these squares and joined them together into this bracelet.

The next logical step was to make some more squares to join together for this pair of earrings.  Now, I'm not much of a pink girl, but I am pretty pleased with how these pieces turned out!

Next up, a spiky green bracelet using the same squares.  Here's a sneak peak! Each spike is made by joining two squares together in the corner.  

Monday, July 21, 2008

August Challenge!

I know, I know.  I'm a little ahead of the August 5th deadline for the Etsy Beadweaver's August challenge themed Art Deco.  But here is my entry!  

When the theme was announced, my first thought was 'I have no idea what falls into the category of Art Deco.'  So I went on a Google image search, and found a lot of geometric designs and straight lines.  

And this is what I came up with! 

The middle geometric pieces were made using a combination of brick stitch and a square stitch.  I used a circular version of the net stitch to create the pinwheels at the top.

The centerpiece called for a rope-style chain, which I made using a variation of the Peyote stitch.  Relating back to my earlier post about the creative process, my newest idea is to make bangles using that same variation of Peyote.  So keep an eye out, and when I get to that project, I'll show you the results.
And with that, it's time to sign off.  Happy creating!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Etsy Beadweavers Midsummer Madness Sale!

The Etsy Beadweavers Team is putting on our first ever sale.  Various team members are offering special deals during the week of July 21-27.  You can find out what is being offered here!

My shop is offering 15% off on select items, found in the 'sale' section on the right hand side of the page, and free shipping on multi-item purchases storewide.  

Be sure to take advantage of all the limited time special offers by the whole EBW team!  And remember, you can find beautiful, quality items any time from any of the stores represented. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008


Since joining the Etsy Beadweavers Street Team my toolbox of techniques has gotten bigger and bigger.  I've learned new stitches, been motivated to bead my own closures, and been challenged to push myself.  

There has been a lot of talk in the past month or so about how one goes about making a freeform piece.  One of our own, Claire, has made a series of posts on freeform, using a bracelet she made as an example.  Here is the first of those posts.  

This among other things have inspired me to create my first deliberately freeform bracelet.  A lot of my work has some elements of freeform, in that I pick out the beads and let them take me to a finished product.  However, a pattern usually emerges very quickly.  With this bracelet, I very deliberately stayed away from a regular pattern.  I thoroughly enjoy how the wooden beads interact with the silvery glass beads.  I just might have to make a freeform necklace using the same palette..  

Here's to more freeform fun!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The creative process

So how does the creative process work?  Where does inspiration come from?  It's obviously different from person to person, and even project to project, but for me a lot of ideas have been stumbled upon.

Take these two bracelets that I just finished, for example..  The story starts below this picture.
While I was working on my July challenge piece (pictured below), I went to a friend's wedding.  Her new sister-in-law beaded her necklace.  The stitch she used was similar to techniques I had seen in other necklaces and bracelets while poking around the internet.  I should probably figure out what the technique is called... 

That particular necklace inspired me to add the white 'moonbeams' to the necklace, using this stitch I had seen around.

When I finished the necklace, I had a jumble of blue, green, and some red beads which I really didn't want to sort out, as well as a jumble of white beads.  Obviously, the logical choice was to make a matching bracelet.  Well, I ran out of the blue, green, and red before the bracelet was long enough, so I finished it off with the white in that same stitch, and then embellished one end of the blue with a 'moonbeam'.  

I really liked the look of the white circle type thingys on the blue bracelet - not just the color contrast, but the dimensionality of it.  And that evolved into my two newest bracelets.  The turquoise and red ceramic beads inspired the color choices, as well as the creation of two of these bracelets.

Sometimes, I'll come across an idea while I'm making another piece.  I made the earrings below based on a portion of a pattern on a dress of mine.  While they were coming together, I reached a point where it looked like a daisy-type flower.  That wasn't the goal for this pair of earrings, but I stored it away for later.

And I used that 'stumbled upon' technique in these earrings (and a matching necklace).

Then I used it again in this necklace (my June challenge piece)

Anyhow, that's how many of my ideas come about.  One piece inspires another inspires another, I accidentally do something that inspires another piece, and so forth.  It's fun.


Voting for the Etsy Beadweaver's July Challenge is in full swing now!
Go to to vote for your favorite entry.  

Monday, July 7, 2008

On pendants and lack of sales

While I thoroughly enjoyed being in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico, and I gave out business cards to everyone who came to my table, the sales part of this trip was not so great.  I sold a grand total of one small pair of earrings and one small candle holder. There just weren't that many people who came!  Although, the people selling paper products next to me had sale after sale.  (Granted, they did very nice work!  I suppose a fair like this one was the right niche for their products, I just need to find the right niche for mine.)

So, here I am in the darkest corner in a dark room, despite being next to a window.

and my pottery.

But there was a dude there who did wire wrapping with sterling silver.  I couldn't help but pick up a couple of pendants.  I'm excited to use these..  Unfortunately, he doesn't yet have a website that I can direct you all too.  There were some beautiful pieces a bit out of my price range - some fabulous ammonites, and a great chunk of labradorite.  

This one is labeled amazonite, and I traded for a piece of pottery.

This one is a mixture of hematite and tigers eye, and I straight up bought this one. :)

While on the national parks trip, I bought a couple of other stones for use in jewelry.

I need to learn how to do a beaded bezel and use this slice of agate!

I also bought 3 pieces of petrified wood (collected on private land, NOT the national park.) :)
I'm not sure if I want to figure out how to bead around these, or if I want to get them wire wrapped - the guy who sold me the pendants above said he can wrap stones like this.  

Friday, July 4, 2008

Off to sell again..

I've just returned from a whirlwind trip of 7 national parks in as many days - Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Petrified Forest, for those who are interested.  

Since I am finding it impossible to sit still this summer, the next two days will be spent as a vendor at the Arts & Crafts who at the Sipapu Ski Resort.  (No, there's no snow this time of year!)  
When I get back, it will be almost time to start voting for your favorite entry in the EBW Challenge.  This month's theme was 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and all of the entries I've seen so far have been breathtaking.  Visit the link on the right hand side of my page to go to the EBW blog and vote starting July 9th!

Of course, I would be delighted if you voted for my entry, but please only do so if you like it the best. ;)