Friday, June 26, 2009

Watch Band

I wanted a watchband for this spare watch that was light and airy for summer. I made this in the size of a bracelet to fit rather loosely. I used a random assortment of gold beads and had a fun time creating.

June Earrings

I found myself in the mood to make some fun earrings this morning. I made these, I think they look light and summery, especially the shell ones!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Woven Wire and Beads

This is a new technique I am learning, weaving wire. It is great fun and I foresee many projects using this. I will try this in smaller beads and wire, etc. in the future...lots of possibilities here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mystery Beads

I finished this set this morning. While I have vowed to learn more about gem and mineral identification for the beads I have, the farthest I have come is "oh...those are pretty"! Such is the case with these beads. The beads are various shades of brown with turquoise inclusions in them of varying shades of blue and green. The beads are 18 mm size and so attractive! They were purchased at Western Traders in Las Cruces, NM. The owner of this store saw me peeking in the windows of the store an hour before opening time and offered to open the store for me! How is that for customer service? While I was not that desperate for beads, it certainly added a lot of convenience to our day to not have to return during regular store hours. Needless to say, he probably felt I made it worth his effort. He had wonderful beads inside the rather large store! I will return to his store on our next trip through Las Cruces.

The coiled copper components are a nice complementary color to the blues and lighten the weight of this longer, natural stone necklace quite a bit. Copper jewelry has such an inner warmth, I think.

I made the necklace long enough to slip easily over one's head and I like the look!

After more research, I have come to the conclusion that these are either natural Chinese Turquoise or natural "enhanced" Chinese Turquoise stone beads. There seems to be some controversy by beaders about the value of enhanced over genuine, as-is, stones. Since I don't know which these are, all I will say is it goes back to what I said in the beginning, "these are pretty beads"!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Cabochon

I am including this here to keep myself honest. Today, I for the first time wrapped a cabochon. The tutorial called for square wire either 22 g or 20 g but I decided to go with 18 g because I thought it needed to be stronger than the lighter wires. Wronnnngggg! It needs to be lighter to hug the shape of irregular cabs....duh! I also chose round craft wire since I did not want to chance ruining the more expensive square silver or gold for my first try at this.

At any rate, this taught me to follow directions, as directed, as well as the basic techniques needed to wrap cabs. I bought some lovely ones and interesting ones in Las Cruces so it is important for me to learn to wrap them properly for pendants. I even have a cab that is of "landscape jasper" that I think will be gorgeous.

I am embarrassed about the flaws in the overworked front wraps, but it was an enjoyable, though hard-on-the-hands effort today. I will continue on with my quest to do this properly, but make better wire choices next time. Onward!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bracelets for Aubrey

I made two stretchy little bracelets for my granddaughter, Aubrey, and sent them to her in a package with some goodies we found for her on our recent trip. She models one of these bracelets here. I guess she was pretty excited to get them and even recognized it was her package since it had her personalized pink address label with the bear on it, so it was from Grandma. Cool.

Even more cool is the fact that after opening the package and rifling through the contents, she asked if when Daddy gets home they could Skype Grandma and talk to her. A true child of the millennium! This is so cool being a grandparent in this age of easy communication with those who don't live close to you, they are but a mouse click away!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

These were a fun group of bracelets to make. The beads for the two china bead bracelets were imported from....well....China! They really are delicate and lovely beads.

The gold bracelet on the left was made by drawing elastic bracelet thread through links of hardware store chain and gathering them together in these super little bundles, interspersed with lightweight gold beads. I am next going to try this method using regular beading wire and see if that will work, also.

The charm bracelet started with a chain made of interlocked swivel hooks...yup, got them in the fishing department! The real work came in making all of those dangles and then installing them on the swivels. Each dangle has a slightly different wire wrap design and all are made with clear beads for maximum sparkle. How cool is this?!

While on a recent trip through New Mexico I "happened" upon a "few" bead shops. Okay, I planned on stopping at many bead shops there. I found wonderful beads shops in Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The beads for the two silver Bali bead bracelets to the left here were found in a large store in Las Cruces. I like the upper left one so well that I am keeping that one for myself, as well as the earrings that I made to go with them. I also found in this store these wonderful orange stone beads that perfectly matched several of my summer tops so I will keep this one, also. Hmmmm, I see a trend starting here!

I had enough time to bead while DH was on the dialysis machine and enjoyed the relaxation of beading and bending wire in the motorhome.