Sunday, April 29, 2012


Yes, oops. 

As it turns out I am not going to be using my beaded beads as part of the turquoise slab necklace.  The beaded beads looked fine laid out on the bead board end to end.  As part of my design I planned to join my beaded beads with wired turquoise and coral.  When I put the pieces together on my bead board it became apparent that the beaded beads were not proportionate to the other parts of the necklace. 

Here is the original plan on the bead board
Another view of the original layout plan

However, I really did love the wired turquoise, coral, and seed beads.  They tied together the other two strands.  The wired beads were a great size and added just a bit more of silver color without being over-whelming.  The design changed once again.  It is a process.

Below are some photos of the final strands.  Next step is to bezel the turquoise slab.

The strands laid out on the bead board

A view without the distractions
Closeup of the strands
Even closer look at the strands

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Insight and Small Change

I know I have posted more than once about my limited time and it remains true, so I won't whine again.  I know you all face the same issue.  I am not sure if I have admitted how much I love to read.  It is probably obvious from the list of jewelry blogs I follow.  I also follow political blogs, food blogs, and decorating blogs but not in such great numbers.  When I say I love to read what I really mean is that I love to read science fiction and fantasy.  I also love to bead.  I have been making beaded jewelry for decades so it is not a passing fancy.  However, given all of the above it is unlikely that I am going to be heavy into marketing anytime soon.  Thus, there has been a change in the subtitle of this blog from Adventures in marketing hand made jewelry to Adventures in hand made jewelry. 

I have also decided that my next project is going to be small. 

For those of you using blogger it seems there was a default change to require users to go through Captcha- those squiggly words that you have to type in before you can make a comment.  Turns out mine was set to yes.  I changed it to No.  In blogger go to Settings>Posts and Comments and under Comments change Show Word Verification to No.  If you ever find that annoying word verification please let me know.

I set my comments up with no moderation and I allow anonymous posts.  I even have a comment asking anonymous posters to sign their name so I will know how to address them.  I have not had a problem.  I am a firm believer if you expect the best of people they will live up to your expectations and vice versa. 

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time following the Wrapped, Stacked and Layered blog hop.  What a great idea.  The hop was hosted by Tracey Statler of Make Bracelets Blog.  Hop over to her blog and follow the links for great inspiration. I did not participate, but because I am still working on beaded beads I thought I would share 4 very simple, inexpensive, and easy bracelets that I made two summers ago and have kept for myself.  The bracelets are made from inexpensive glass beads bought in a bag from Michaels, some metallic toned plastic beads, and are simply knotted on elastic cord.  These stacked and layered bracelets are fun and easy to wear.

Stacked and layered bracelets for spring

Sunday, April 15, 2012


This post is not going to be about beads.  I am still working on the beaded beads and I just did not want to post again about 8 mm silver beaded beads.  This post is about decorating- I am guessing that if you like to make jewelry you also like to decorate, or at least I do.  This post is about decorating choices and color. 

I am working on replacing my bedding.  More than a decade ago I put together my present bed.  I made quilts and shams after watching the PBS series Quilt In A Day.   I picked up a really nice wool blanket at a discount store.  I needed fillers so I picked up floral shams for cheap bed pillows.  As you can see from the picture below it is colorful, cozy, and layered.  The afghan was crocheted by my grandmother and the solid green quilt I picked up very cheaply this past autumn at a big box store.

This look is dated and the pillows much too big.

I am never going to give up the afghan my grandmother made, but this one may not stay on the bed. 

I need some large pillows because I like to sit in bed and read.

I want my new bed to have fewer pillows, but still a larger pillow or two to prop behind my back so I can read in bed.  I want a few quilts + my wool blanket for that layered look which bespeaks comfort and luxury. 

My plan has been to work with the wool blanket I have; I absolutely love it.  I have been trying to find a new quilt to match the wool blanket and solid green quilt I currently own.  I began with a bright white, but it was too bright.  I brought home a steel blue quilt but it was just too cold and not quite what I had in mind.  This morning I decided I could make my choices easier, and cheaper, if I just replaced the wool blanket. 

I have looked at a few internet discount providers, as well as other respected vendors such as LL Bean, The Company Store, Faribault Mill, and Pendleton.  I am going to splurge on a Pendleton blanket.  I expect this blanket to last me a lifetime.  I am going to choose a solid color.  I now have to decide between the gray, which is a great neutral, or white, also a great neutral but harder to keep looking clean.  There is no ivory.  Tempted as I am by the colors I want to be able to switch my cheaper choices in the future. 

So, today, in addition to making a beaded bead or two, I am going to do one of my least favorite things and go shopping.  Then, I can decide between the white and the gray wool blanket.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Motivation and Prizes

I just filled out a questionnaire at work and found that I am very internally motivated and like being in control.  What I am not motivated by is stuff- mugs, t-shirts, etc…

Some time ago A Beader's Blog posted on a related topic and she mentioned giveaways.  Again, I am not really motivated by stuff, including beady prizes. 

Having said all that, Nicole Hanna is having a contest and as much as I like the prize it is not what is motivating me to link to her post.  The first time I read Nicole’s blog it went into my RSS feed.  She does beautiful work, but even more than that she is a pleasure to read.  She makes me smile and sometimes even laugh.  She writes these great tutorials should you ever dream about learning to twist wire into amazing shapes.  She even wrote one of the best posts I have ever read about pricing our products.

So, Nicole is having a contest to get new followers.  If you visit her blog and decide to become a follower please mention that I sent you.  As it turns out, one of the other things that I am motivated by is competition. 

Even if I don’t win, I think you will really enjoy her blog.

P.S.  I am not all that competitive, I would love it if you would join me in recommending Nicole's blog.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Another Lesson Learned

First a progress report on the Turquoise Slab Necklace. 

The third strand is going to be, in part, beaded beads.   I am leaning toward wire wrapped loops to connect them rather than stringing them. 

I don’t think I want it all beaded beads, or at least not all silver beaded beads.  I may create a green turquoise beaded bead and a red coral beaded bead and see how those turn out.

For the moment I have placed a coral and turquoise bead between each silver beaded bead.  The next design choice is whether or not to leave the coral clover strand on the bottom.  Here are some pictures.

Now for the lessons learned.  I thought I would create step by step photos for a 8 mm beaded bead as that is what I am using on this necklace.  I started with the Japanese seed beads I am actually using, but the contrast was not enough for instructions.  I added some size 15 delica beads for step two and was shocked at the difference in size.

Because I wanted to create the step by step pictorial I changed to all delica beads.  However, when using a 8 mm base, even the size 15 delica beads do not lie smoothly, they do not flow and they do not nestle next to each other.  The uniform size and the hard edges do not work, or at least they did not work for me.  Here is the finished beaded bead, what do you think?

For comparison, here is the 8 mm bead with 15/0 Japanese seed beads.  (Ignore the magenta wire, which is a place holder.)