Saturday, March 30, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 30

Day 30 Challenge is to make a matching set. I mixed these gorgeous barrel-shaped fluorite in quartz beads with assorted fluorite beads, mother of pearl nuggets, etc. The color combination of this set makes me think of summer :-) This is the last day of the challenge. I'm thankful it's over, but is was fun and great motivation to do something every day :-)

Friday, March 29, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 29

Day 29 Challenge was to brighten your design by adding a pop of color. I saw a necklace in one of my favorite department stores, and this is my version of it. I had a box of these triangle beads that I've had for years, so this gave me the opportunity to use up some of them.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 28

Day 28 Challenge is to get those pliers out and create a wire wrapped bracelet. This is a brass cuff bracelet that I've wire wrapped with gold wire and assorted beads.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 27

Day 27 Challenge is to make a mixed media masterpiece. I used several colors of nail polish to color the inside of these bezels, added resin, and strung them all on elastic cord separated by green magnesite beads.

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 26

Day 26 Challenge is to add the beauty of pearls to your jewelry design. I had a bracelet I made a few years back that needed some updating, so I took it apart (should have taken a photo first, duh!) and changed it up a little. The original had a lot more dark gray which may be why I wasn't crazy about it. Also each strand was a mixture of all the beads. Instead I used all freshwater pearls on one strand, all light gray pearls on another strand, and the middle strand has a mixture of small pearls, light gray pearls, and crystal beads to make this elegant three strand sterling silver bracelet.

Monday, March 25, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 25

Day 25 Challenge is to make chain maille. This is a very basic pattern, but I've never tried it before and it was actually a lot of fun. I used gold, silver and copper jump rings.

The chain maille pattern was easy, but joining the three long strips together could be challenging at times. Then I had to figure out how to attach this to the slide clasp I'd selected. I thought I could fill the spaces between the jump rings with crimp covers, but they wouldn't fit around the bar on the clasp. So I settled on a bunch of additional loose jump rings, just to fill the void.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 24

Day 24 Challenge is to use a clasp as a focal point in your design. This is a bracelet with a beautiful vermeil Prehenite box clasp on a wedding knot gold-filled chain maille bracelet. I love the simplicity of the bracelet and how it doesn't detract from the elegant clasp.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 23

Day 23 Challenge was to learn an exciting new technique of your choice. This one was really hard. I lost part of the day because I had to finish the project for the Day 22 challenge. Then I couldn't decide what to try. Initially I tried to learn (or actually re-learn) making a beaded crochet rope but that was a disaster! I'm going to have to have a one-on-one lesson (again) to master that technique. So as the day wore on, I knew I had to do SOMETHING so I decided to pull out the shrink plastic that I bought awhile back. After numerous trials and errors, I finally have a pair of earrings, even though they didn't turn out very good. Oh well, at least I learned that I don't want to make shrink plastic jewelry!

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 22

Day 22 Challenge was to make a piece inspired by a film. I couldn't decide on a project until about 3pm, and by the time I had the design fixed in my mind and started working on it, other obligations kept me from finishing the same day, so this morning I started in bright and early and got it done.

My movie inspiration is a film that hasn't yet been released. Last year I had the incredible opportunity to have a very small role in the faith-based film Waiting for Butterflies that was filmed right here in Aiken. This necklace is my homage to that incredible experience. I enhanced a Vintaj butterfly with color, then added wire-wrapped fire polished crystals using copper wire.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Update

Earlier I wrote how I accidentally dumped out a tray of seed beads preparing for the Day 20 Challenge of woven fringe. After sorting seed beads for more hours than my neck could take, I was adviced to just keep it mixed up and make it my new favorite seed bead mix. I finally decided that was probably the easiest way to go, so I made another bangle bracelet using my "new favorite seed bead mix". Turned out very pretty, I think.

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 21

Day 21 Challenge is to create some tasty arm candy by making a stunning stacked bracelet set. I love making these funky bracelets. The color possibilities are only limited by the extent of your seed bead collection!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 20

Day 20 Challenge is to welcome in Spring by doing some spring cleaning. Since I just reorganized my studio just a few weeks back, I didn't think I'd tackle that. However, yesterday we had a challenge to use one of the seed bead woven fringe techniques. Needless to say, in the process of deciding what colors of seed beads to use, I dumped an entire tray of seed beads on the floor. I'm about halfway done with sorting them :-( I'm going to need a neck massage when this is over!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 19

Day 19 Challenge is to try one of Fusion Beads seed bead woven fringe techniques. I made this black square stitch bracelet and added colorful seed beads using the looped fringe technique.

Monday, March 18, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 18

Day 18 Challenge is to make a piece of jewelry using any style of chain. I had this vintage pendant with a cabochon that looks like kiwi jasper, so I added a handmade bail, kiwi jasper beads, antique silver beads and chain.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 17

Day 17 Challenge is to make a green jewelry piece for St. Patrick's Day.

I bought these cool earrings on sale the other day at Macy's.

I thought they would be cool with some alcohol ink in the grooves, then I lightly sanded so some of the gold would show through. Finished them off with a coat of matte acrylic sealer.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 16

Day 16 Challenge is to use a bead that's been in your bead stash forever. I made this ceiling fan pull using a beautiful lime green and purple lampwork bead I bought several years ago.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 14

Day 14 Challenge is to make a piece for girl's night out with lots of sparkle and bling. I made these earrings with silver-lined fire polished crystals for just the right amount of sparkle, and they'll go with anything :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 13

Day 13 Challenge is to use your favorite seed bead mix in a design. Well I don't really have a favorite "seed bead mix", but I have lots and lots of seed beads, all sizes, all colors, so I made this necklace and earring set using an antique brass pendant with colorful size 6 matte seed beads to go with the Pantone spring colors for spring.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 12

Day 12 Challenge is to finish an unfinished beading project. I etched this pendant a year or two ago when my sister-in-law Sue was in town and taught me how to etch. I completed the pendant but never did anything with it.

I picked out some green glass teardrop beads that pick up the green ink I used to color the pendant.

Today I finished off the necklace using the green glass teardrop beads and copper chain with the pendant :-)

Monday, March 11, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 11

Day 11 Challenge is to get creative and use a found object in a jewelry piece. I came across this weird pendant, don't know what it is but it looks like an alien ! Here's the before picture:

I used some alcohol ink and nail polish to add a little color, then put it on gold chain with orange/yellow beads.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 10

Day 10 Challenge was to make a wire wrapped ring. I was in luck on this one because I've been making these a lot lately. This is a spiral ring I made using a beautiful lampwork bead from Dyed in the Fire Designs: Patti Cahill, Artist.

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 9

Day 9 Challenge was to repair a broken jewelry piece. I made this three strand bracelet years ago, probably one of the very first bracelets I made. I didn't use wire guardians (probably they weren't even around back then) so one of the strands broke.

I re-strung it using wire guardians. However, I couldn't fit three wire guardians through the hole on the end of the clasp, so I had to add a split ring.

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 8

Day 8 Challenge is to gather fellow beaders and have a beading date night. Well, I only know of one serious beader (Sandra) but she's undoubtedly the busiest woman I know. So I stayed home and beaded by myself. I started another Chan Luu wrap bracelet in greens and browns.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 7

Day 7 Challenge is to make a piece using cord. I made a Chan Luu-inspired three wrap bracelet using 6mm round blue/green resin beads mixed with blue Chinese crystals on sky blue rubber cord.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 6

Day 6 Challenge is to try a different metal in your jewelry that you don't normally use. I struggled with this one because I use all kinds of metals, so FusionBeads suggested I make something combining different metals. So here's a pair of earrings with silver, gold and hammered copper with a turquoise nugget dangling from one of the washers. The large silver and gold teardrop loops are very matte so it's hard to tell they are different colors.

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 5

Day 5 Challenge is to clean up your stash and use up some bead leftovers. I made a necklace out of magnesite nuggets, a freeform pendant and peruvian turquoise on copper.

Monday, March 4, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 4

Day 4 Challenge is to learn a need bead weaving stitch using seed beads. Well this particular project took practically the entire day. I may have taken on more than I should for a one-day project. I sure hope the remaining challenges don't take all day like this one did.

I designed these earrings using the circular brick stitch.

By the way, if you are wondering why these isn't a post for the Day 3 Challenge, that particular project is to make some beautiful jewelry to give to a friend. I've made the jewelry, but I haven't had a chance to give it to my friend, so I have to keep this one a secret for now :-)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 2

Day 2 Challenge is to string up a beautiful bracelet or necklace. I made this 4-strand bracelet with red coral pebbles, red seed beads with sterling bead caps, sterling chain and lobster clasp.

Friday, March 1, 2013

National Craft Month Challenge: Day 1

In celebration of National Craft Month, Fusion Beads is hosting a 30-day Bead Challenge for the month of March to anyone who wants to participate.

Day 1 Challenge is to make a pair of earrings. I made these earrings using African Opal rondelles on gunmetal findings. The beads are suspended in a staggered pattern from gunmetal chain. I especially like using the teardrop finding upside down for a different look and dangling beads from the end (which is actually the top) :-)