Sunday, October 28, 2012

Evacuation and free pattern

Well, I had to move a little further ahead of planned!  I usually do a free pattern on Friday, but instead I was packing our town in Cape May County in NJ was/is under mandatory evacuation! 

Just learning now that many of the streets in the towns near by are already flooded, and some of the bridges to the barrier islands are covered in water too!  Yikes.  Glad I got out of there okay and with hardly any traffic.  I'm a little nervous for the house since we're only about 1/2 a mile from the bay:

I was lucky to snag a bunch of candles this morning, here in Maryland. So if we lose power I'll still be able to bead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a free pattern for my missed Friday!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Time To Stitch 2

I'm excited to take part in the Time To Stitch 2 Challenge hosted by Therese (Therese's Treasures) and Christine (One Kiss Creations).  This round's challenge was to create a piece in right-angle-weave (RAW), and/or St. Petersburg stitch.  I decided to do both!

Bead-weaving has been a love of mine for many years now, and I had a heck of a time "getting" RAW.  Which now strikes me as funny, because I think it's one of the easiest stitches out there.  It is incredibly versatile and I love using it. 

I went with a blue color for this bracelet because I wanted to donate another bracelet to the 7000 Braclets for Hope project. (Fellow beaders: Global Genes just put out a call for an urgent need for 40 bracelets, if you can spare a blue bracelet)  This is a cubic raw rope stitched with size 8 beads, and embellished with smaller beads.

For the St. Petersburg stitch, I went with an old standby. Some years back there was a bracelet featuring St. Pete's and drops in one of the bead magazines.  I learned it then, and was amazed at A.) how fast the stitch worked up, and B.) how gorgeously the finished chain drapes when worn.  Back then I seriously made about 100 of them.  That holiday season I gave one to just about everyone I know.  Fast forward two years later, I had a basket of them at a holiday craft show and I was practically giving them away.....oh wait, actually, at the end of the show, I DID give most of them away! LOL! Here is just a small sample of some of those bracelets from back then. 

And here is what I created for this challenge. 
It was great to be reminded of how much I enjoyed making these bracelets and what a great little stitch St' Petersburg is!

Thanks to Therese & Christine for hosting this fun hop!  Check out the our hosts' creations and the other participants!

Therese Frank and Christine Altmiller

Nikki Byers

Kristen Stevens

Shirley Moore
Karen Williams

Friday, October 19, 2012


Every once and a while, I see a pattern that catches my eye and I drop everything I'm doing to try it out.  That was the case when I saw the "Picket Fence" pattern come up on B&B's free patterns for subscribers. 
by Samantha Mitchell

I have been hot & cold about Tilas, but I thought this pattern was adorable!

I started it last night and it worked up really quickly. I used size 13/0's instead of 15/0's (as noted in the materials list), so some of the links are a bit cramped, but I like it anyway!

Today is FREE PATTERN Friday! I was tickled to see fellow beader and blogger, Abbey Wilkins, used some of my patterns and posted her results on Operations Tackle That Bead Stash's FB page!  Check it out!  I hope I see lots more out there - it's such an amazing project that is a beautiful and meaningful collaboration of beaders around the world!

Here is another pattern for the quilt! It's a very simple pattern of Lily of the Valley.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Prima Bead

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of receiving a "Jewelry Class in a Box" kit from Prima Beads.

The kit contains truly all you need to make several pieces of jewelry: the supplies, tools, an instruction book and even a bead mat!

I started by making one of the pairs of earrings in the kit, pretty close to how the instructions directed.

Of course, being a "seed beader" I immediatley felt like I wanted to somehow add some seed beads to these earrings.  And while I didn't revisit the earrings, I pretty much departed from the instructions book after that...

First up was a bracelet using the blue chains and the blue pearls.  I am planning on sending this one to the Global Genes Project 7000 Bracelets for Hope.

I love this blue chain.  The color is rich and the chain is very light-weight.

Then I played around with the heart pendant and the adorable keys.  And added some bead weaving components to the mix.

This kit is a great kit for someone just learning to bead. It truly has all you need to get started, and will give the new beader an intro to using pliers with jump rings, head pins, and wire and crimps.  The metal in this kit is not precious, and I was a little disappointed when I put some of the gold components together and they didn't match very well. And while I loved the heart pendant, some of the metal overlay was scratching off.

The three-in-one tool is so clever!  I found it a little difficult to cut the chain accurately with the three-in-one tool.  But again, it's a great starting point for a new beader.  I would still recommend a beader splurge for the three tools that would otherwise make up the three-in-one (needle-nose pliers, round nose pliers and a good set of wire cutters).

The variety in this kit is good and it definitely can get your creative juices flowing. I haven't used all the components yet, but I'm excited to start playing with the filigree flowers and the square flower pendants!

Prima Bead is a relatively new bead company and I look forward to getting further acquainted with what they have to offer.  They have a great website with lots of projects and you can request a catalog for those days that you want to lounge on the couch and enjoy some eye candy!  Stay tuned for more pieces created from this kit!

Disclaimer:  Prima Beads sent me this kit to review.  I was not compensated to write this post, these opinions are my own. 

Friday, October 12, 2012


This was a fun Friday!  We had a handful of errands to run so that, we did!

We stopped by the bird sanctuary...we didn't see any birds, but I rather enjoyed this tree/shrub or whatever it was.  Those little berries reminded me of miniature apples and I just loved the colors!

I've been beading a lot lately, which has been great.  Although many of my items are for later 'reveals'.  However I did finish a square for the Bead-It-Forward quilt.  This is from the rose pattern, posted back on August 24.  It worked up so fast since it is two-drop peyote.  I actually had two different reds in the bead palette that I was working with, however, they blended in too much, so I threw in a little color in the middle at the last minute!

I like the way it turned out and am definitely going to try it in some other colors.

Here is another pattern for Free Pattern Friday!

Happy Weekend to all!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kalmbach Bead Soup Party - Reveal!

I was SO lucky to receive a bead soup kit, in celebration of Lori Anderson's new book, Bead Soup: 32 Projects Show What Happens When 26 Beaders Swap Their Stash

My kit was from Thistle Beads in CT, and consisted of a bunch of really cool paper rolled beads, and miscellaneous natural stones, glass, and metals.  

I am still planning to do one more piece with the long pink beads (combined with the pink glass beads and the metals), but here is what I finished this past weekend!

First a bracelet:

I worked a flat herringbone strip and attached the purple paper beads, and the purple glass disks in a zig-zag pattern.  Originally I wasn't too sure about the glass toggle, but the effect while you are wearing it, is interesting because it is see-through!

Next up was a necklace with the creamy colored paper beads.

I was so pleased to find some creamy colored delicas in my stash to make some small beaded beads to go with these gorgeous beads from my soup!!

Thank you so much to Kalmbach and to Thistle Beads for this fun opportunity to participate in the Bead Soup book celebration!   And of course thanks to Lori for dreaming up this idea in the first place a few years ago!  I've had so much fun participating in the Bead Soup Blog Parties, and have made a few new friends along the way. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Good to be 'home'! was a lot of fun traveling around the northeastern states these past two weeks, but it's good to be home....even if this home is temporary!

We did so much, and visited with so many people it is hard to pick any highlights.  Seeing the elk and Niagara Falls was awesome.  But after that, I had the PLEASURE of meeting one of my favorite fellow bloggers and someone I call a friend, Kristen (from My Bead Journey).

We had such a wonderful time chatting over coffee.  Kristen is every bit as lovely in person as she is on her blog (more so, really!), and I"m so grateful that we had a chance to rendezvous in NY.

After visiting with Kristen, our trip took us to western Mass, where I visited with my best friend of 39 years (wow - I'm old)....and was able to finally able to give her the birthday gift I made for her last month!


I loved making this piece, however it definitely gave me fits.  This is the Celtic knot pattern from Shaped Beadwork.  I wish there was more information in the book about tension, and frankly - I feel like the first couple of rounds should be done in a size 15/0 bead!  But in any case - I pushed through some of the tension difficulties, but still was not happy with the way one side looked.  A circle was added to 'hide' some of the buckling that I experienced.

When I first started thinking I wanted to do this piece, I kept thinking in greens but I just wasn't happy with any of the greens I was putting together, but felt like i needed to keep it filed away with an Irish feel...and finally the image of a Irish wool cream colored cardigan popped into my head and the colors fell into place perfectly after that!

When you are driving around a lot, as I did over the last few weeks (google maps said I did 1800+ miles and drove for about 37 hours), you get to think a lot.  And of course I thought about all the beading I wanted to do by the end of the year.  I have a lot of irons on the fire right now and am very excited about all the projects.  I also realized I have been making lots of patterns for the Bead-It-Forward quilt and haven't even started making any so when I got home, I promptly started printing out all the patterns that are in my completed pattern file!

 Tonight, it's good to be in my own space, and I will be working on completing my Time To Stitch piece!!