Sunday, December 30, 2012

Simple Blue Heart Necklace

The Blue Heart Necklace is done.
Simple Blue Heart Necklace

I wear the cream colored version of this more than any other piece of jewelry I have made.   It is simple, light weight, is easy to wear, and goes with everything.

I did, however, make a few changes.  I added about 1 inch of chain between the focal and the beaded beads so the necklace would lay better.  The cream necklace lays nicely when worn, not so much when being photographed.  The redesign separates the focal and the puffy heart allowing the eye to appreciate both. 

Simple Heart Necklace

I did add the lopsided heart to the back.  It won't get much attention, but it will get love.

I also remade the focal heart to give the lobes more prominence. 

Two puffy hearts, I used the one on the left.
The focal is a lovely indigo disk with a floral motif that I picked up quite some time ago; yes that means more than two years ago.  I purchased an entire strand.  I have used this bead for a bracelet.  It has a nice iridescent shimmer to match the AB finish on the Delicas. 

Focal disk
Focal with blue puffy heart

Simple Blue Heart Necklace up close
 Finally, here is a picture of the original cream necklace and the blue version:
Cream and Blue Heart Necklaces

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Have a Safe & Happy Holiday Season

I hope Santa is mighty fine to you this year.

Here are some pictures of what I have been seeing on my morning commute for the past month- it always made me smile.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I managed to get in some extra beading time this week but in that time I only made things that needed to be torn apart.

I did manage to finish the heart for my Blue Heart necklace.

Blue beaded puffy heart leaning against a shell
Here is another view with the beaded beads:
Puffy heart and beaded beads
 I am not sure if I am satisfied with the way the heart turned out.  The lobes are not pronounced enough.  I will look at it again after having been away for a day or two and perhaps it will be just right.

The heart is made in two pieces and zipped together.  I made the first half easy-peasy. Now that should have been a clue.  Then I proceeded to make 4 or 5 second halfs none of which quite matched. Now that was surely a second clue.  However, I liked the way the initial half looked.  I decided to zip the halves together only to find that the darn thing was lop-sided.  I think the initial half was bad and I kept trying to match a mistake. 

I moved on to a larger version, which only took one try per side.  As I said this might need to be redone.

I did save the out of kilter heart and will hang it from the clasp end.  Here is a picture of both hearts:
Out of kilter heart, large puffy heart and beaded beads

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Simple and Blue

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  It has, however, been raining the last three weekends and holiday tasks have kept me busy.

Here is a preview of what I am working on:

Indigo Beaded Beads
And another view:
Full side view Indigo Beaded Bead
And finally, you can just see the netted top and the underlying wooden bead in this shot:
Netted Top

I am doing something simple.  I know, I have said that before.  This time I am repeating a design I did in October of 2011.  Here it is in white:

Simple necklace in white

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cinnamon and Honey a Harvest Treat

The necklace is done.  It is long and thus, difficult to photograph. 

Cinnamon and Honey Full view
Here is another full view on a white background.  You will notice that I opted not to use a clasp as the necklace is a bit over 30 inches long.
Cinnamon and Honey on White Bread
You have seen closeups of the focal, but not how I joined it to the chain.  I used wire wrapped loops through the large hole satin honey beads.  Here is a close up picture of the joinery:
Joinery on Cinnamon and Honey
And here is the joinery for the Cinnamon and Honey Empress Bead:
Empress Bead joinery
In looking for wire and other beaded goodness today I discovered that I had previously bezeled another of this same strand of stones.  I thought you might enjoy the side by side comparison.  The color I used on this bezel is a rootbeer iris finish.
Bezeled jasper comparison
Bezeled Jasper comparison side 2
Hope you all had a fine Thanksgiving.  In case you are interested, in my flickr photo stream are pictures of my apartment.  They can be found here: KJ's Flickr Photo Stream
along with pictures posted as part of this blog.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Almost There

Of course I didn't get as much done as expected. Nonetheless, the focal is done.
Cinnamon and Honey focal with embellishments

The branched fringe was a good fit for the stone and the embellishments but it was very time consuming. 

Here is a closeup of the embellishments:
Cinnamon and honey embellishment closeup
These small florals have a 4 row tubular peyote base and the points of the floral are layered. 

I still need to finish the final Empress Bead and put all the pieces together.  It is at that time I expect to discover I do not have the right clasp.  That is how these projects get away from me.  I have to admit, however, that I do like the results when I am done.

Stay tuned, next week I hope to have it finished.

Have a safe and happy holiday for those in the U.S.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Everything In Its Time

Two weeks since my last jewelry post.  I did admit in an award post that I love politics so I enjoyed the political season and am glad it is now over.

Here is what I have created for the Cinnamon and Honey necklace so far.

Cinnamon and honey - all the pieces so far
 I have to create another Empress bead, but that will work up fast.

When last I gave an update I mentioned embellishing the bezeled stone.  Here are the pieces for the embellishment.

Embellishments of cinnamon and honey
As you can see, I worked up quite a few embellishments all of which are fine on their own.
A handful of honey and cinnamon embellishments
The top embellishment has small round garnets at the center.  I really like this pattern, however, once placed on the stone the embellishment was just too large.
Failed embellishment
The original embellishment has a great shape but was just a bit over-sized; the next trial was with all seed beads using nearly the same pattern.

Close but...
As you can see from above, the embellishment is just a tad to big for the stone.

Never say never; the next embellishment worked.  This is a pattern with a tubular peyote base that I have used before.  As Goldilocks would say, it is just right.
Cinnamon and honey that is just right
Three of these embellishments have been sewn onto the bezeled stone.  Now I need to figure out the fringe.  Expect more progress next week.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I have no pictures to share today and have made little progress.  I have been happily distracted by politics.  I do not expect much progress for the rest of the weekend. 

I urge you, if you are American, to VOTE. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lessons Learned Part 452

Yes, I made up that number; it probably should be 452,000.

Current Work

I have started a tag for this blog called lessons learned.  These are not tutorials.  I am not even sure anyone reads these and if they do if these are not lessons everyone else has already learned and I am merely stating the obvious.  Nonetheless, I will continue.

Lesson I: Choices
If you recall when I last posted I was not sure if I was going to decrease or start over.  I ended up starting over.  The decrease showed too much thread and in order to get the bezel tight enough the depth of the bezel was going to cover up to much of the pretty stone. I stopped work before getting the bezel tight enough.  (See picture below.) These are judgments you will need to make as an artist.  I started over. 

Unfinished rejected work

Lesson II: Choices Again
Choosing beads requires more than just color consideration.  As was pointed out in comments, these satin beads tend to cut through thread, so they must be used in a place with little movement.  I chose to continue with the honey colored satin beads because of their color, their added textural impact, and because they are relatively large beads for seed beads.  The size will make it easy to attach the neck strap.  Because these are Czech beads the size is quite variable, which makes it easy to fit as a bezel.  In hopes of lessening the depth of the bezel and exposing more of the stone, I chose a single row of the honey satin beads in my second try.  Below is a picture of the edges of the two bezels.

Bezeled jasper on edge
The single row of the honey satin beads is much cleaner visually. 

Lesson III: You can always laugh at yourself
I am laughing at myself because the depth of the bezel is still going to cover up more of the stone than I would like. Fortunately, I did decide to embellish so I think that will justify the extra depth.  Here again are the two works in progress at a different angle.
Bezeled jasper side by side
Lesson IV: Take time off
I had a bit of a back ache last week and took time off to give my back time to heal.  Be kind to yourself.

I always thought my beading choices were intuitive, but they are not. I make choices based on what I hope to achieve.  I hope these lessons learned are helpful. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

They Multiplied

Empress bead in cinnamon and honey
My Empress Beads have multiplied!  I thought I would use two for this necklace and I looked down on my work table and discovered I had three.  Now I need to make a fourth, I think.

Bezeled Jasper
I went for the jasper with the cinnamon.  I always want to save my best bits and pieces for the next masterwork. This time I decided there would be no next masterwork so I used the piece of jasper that I liked best.  Unfortunately, this bezel is just not working. It is just a tad to big.  I will either need to start over or decrease, and I am inclined to start over. 

On the other hand I might just decide to get fancy and add some embellishments to the bezel which would hide any threads exposed by a decrease.  

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beads v. Books

The Next Empress
I said it before, I really like the Empress Bead.  This is a new color palette.

The inspiration comes from this string of Jasper.

These are really large, measuring 40mm x 28 mm. 

Here are the beads comprising the color palette.
Gold and Cinnamon color palette
 I will need to choose between the pieces of jasper.  Should I go with a piece that is mostly golds with only hints of cinnamon?
Jasper mostly in golds
Or should I go with a piece that has plenty of cinnamon?
Jasper with cinnamon
I don't even quite know what I am making.  Usually I have a plan, or structure worked out in advance.  This time the plan is rather sparse, a necklace with a jasper focal and empress beads, and, and, and??? that is where the plan stopped.

Now as to the title of this post.  Right now I have a series of books calling my name. Like the structure of my necklace, it is not at all clear what will win out.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thrice Blessed with Three Awards

Let me quote Bobbie, I need to go out and buy a lottery ticket.  

I have, in the past few weeks I have twice been given the honor of One Lovely Blog Award from Mandy of Beads for Brains: 365 and Bobbie, of Beadsong Jewelry and an Educator Award (part of Blog 5) from Therese of Therese's Treasures.  

I am both overwhelmed and honored. 

With regard to the One Lovely Blog Award, I am to name 7 random facts about myself and link to 15 blogs.  This is very similar to the Kreative Blogger award I recently received.  Instead of repeating myself I am going to add 39, yes 39, new links to my already lengthy list of blog links on my second tab.  I think each and every one of these links is extraordinary and have added them to my RSS feed.  When any of these 239 bloggers creates a post I view it.  (See my post about The Next Button to discover exactly how I navigate to all those blogs.)

As part of the Blog 5 Awards Therese gave me an Educator Award.  I love to teach; I honestly believe teaching enriches both student and teacher.  I hope my love for sharing knowledge extends beyond the tutorial.  As a recipient I am to name 5 bloggers in the following categories:

Artistic: A blogger whose work is consistently beautiful.  Every blog that I follow needs to be in this category.  I am, however, going to limit myself to just one who is part of the 39 new blogs on my list.

     Artful Living on the Bluff, Designs by Cindy Caraway

Style: A blogger who uses style to inspire; a blog that is photographically beautiful.  This is actually a tumblr, not a blog and I have given it an honorable mention before.  I find this art inspiring for many different reasons.

     Blog Posada

Journalistic: A blog that is really well written, informative and inspires discussion.  I have named these three bloggers for their writing before.

     Nichole Hanna 

     Beadsong Jewelry

     Olive Bites

Educator: A blogger providing great usable tutorials that are easy to follow.  There are multiple blogs I could include on this award, but I am going to mention only one because I just love her "I Might Make That" series.

     Torque Story

Newbie: A favorite new blog (less than 100 followers; blogging less than a year).  I am going to refer you back to the Kreative Blogger award where I set one of my limits to bloggers with less than 100 followers and I mostly stayed within my own rules.

Honorable Mentions: These are some of the 39 new blogs that I want to draw your attention to.

If you love big and complex seed bead jewelry be sure to visit Caroline Fung and Crimson Frog Designs by Kinga Nichols.

If freeform peyote inspires you hop on over to Ibolya-gy├Ângyei.

I love to look at wire weaving and maybe one of these days I will give it a serious try; for inspiration be sure to visit Mar Ya Morevna a Russian artist.  I also added Taniri Design to the list, although this blog has not been updated for the last year.

For unique and romantic jewelry be sure to look through the posts of Edera Jewelry who does the most amazing work with lace and beads.

A special shout-out for My Bead World who has been most supportive in comments.

One final thank you to Mandy, Bobbie, and Therese for the awards.  I feel blessed, validated, and empowered.  I grinned from ear to ear when I saw my blog listed with other bloggers that I admire and respect.