Friday, December 11, 2015

ZnetShows Cultured Sea Glass - Not Just for Jewelry!

A few months back, I was presented with a challenge by ZnetShows to create something with their lovely line of cultured sea glass that wasn't jewelry.

Two ideas came to mind: Christmas ornaments and place card holders.

My stash of cultured sea glass is pretty decent from past design opportunities.  So for my first ornament, I dipped into my stash and selected the peridot colored tusk shaped cultured sea glass and the peridot colored leaf shape cultured sea glass beads! It has been years since I tried to do any netting on an ornament and all I remember was how I kept scratching the finish with my needle when I tried.  I didn't have that problem with the clear glass ornament!  Here is the result of my first attempt.  Basically it was just some free form netting with the leaf shaped beads, seed beads and then I added the tusk beads as fringe:

 Next up it was time to play with the red coin puffed cultured sea glass beads.  Again, I used a clear glass ornament and did some free form netting with amber colored silver lined seed beads and 4mm Tiaria Chinese crystal bicones:

The place card holders were a little bit more of a challenge and there were a few 'fails' along the way.

I used the large starfish cultured sea glass bead for the first one, and worked a free form cubic right angle weave (is that even a thing?) to make a stand for the starfish.  Then I worked several tight rows of peyote in graduated sizes to hug the starfish opposite the stand.  It worked!

For the next place card holder, I used the bottom drilled shell shaped cultured sea glass beads.  First I sewed them together with fireline, adding a row of seed beads in between the holes of the shells  Then I wrapped a row of the pearl colored seed beads around the base of the two shells and through the seed beads that were already there.  I went through this base row of beads several times, and then started doing a circular peyote around and around and around, increasing sporadically, which ended up creating a ruffly effect.

The shells were a little floppy so I added a few peyote rows on the exposed sides of the shells.  It didn't help, and i didn't really want to cover up the pretty shell, so I added a tiny dab of glue between the shells about 10 mm from the bottom and that worked like a charm!

It was a lot of fun working on these ZnetShows cultured sea glass projects!! I enjoyed the free form process quite a bit! Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of times throughout the process where I pulled out a stitch or two and tried a new way, but it's fun to see how well the different bead-weaving techniques shaped into the items I had in mind.

Friday, December 4, 2015

I Get It!

So...a couple weeks ago, I took a little stroll around the craft fair I was participating in (which turned out to be a great event...thanks so much for everyone's well wishes!)....

I came across another bead jeweler who had baskets and baskets full of wire wrapped rings.  She was selling them for anywhere between $9-$13 each.  Wire is not really 'my thing', but seeing her display piqued my interest because she had a LOT of them.  And really they were quite charming. And inexpensive! 

When I got home I looked up "wire wrapped rings"...something I wouldn't normally do because like I said...wire's not my thing.   HOWEVER, I came across many very short videos talking about how simple the process is! 

Well,  I promptly logged onto Amazon and ordered some craft wire in gold and silver, and a mandrel.  The wire came on Wednesday but the mandrel was delayed.  Of course by this time I'd been obsessively watching videos on wire wrapping so I threw caution to the wind and got started....using a taper candle!  Haha!

But it wasn't so bad! I had a couple fails, and a couple successes, and my resulting rings were rather waxy...but here were my first two....

 And then my mandrel came few days later and frankly, I had a hard time quitting! 

These are just too fun and satisfying to make!! Yeesh!  Today I stepped up my game and picked up a bur cup and some nylon pliers.  

I still need to perfect my technique...

But I can definitely see more wire wrapping in my future.  Now I finally get it! I get why people enjoy this medium so much! 

Finally in the Bead-it-Forward world, there is lots happening.  I was inspired by a raffle we are holding at one of my restaurants and decided to hold an online raffle for Bead-it-Forward.  The auction is slow going, and I'd love to make a nice donation to The Healing Garden by the end of the year.  Tickets are only a dollar (less if you buy in bulk!), and you have a chance to win one of five gorgeous Bead-it-Forward quilts!  Click here to see the quilts available to win and to buy tickets if you would like! 

And there are some pretty lovely items in the auction page too!  Click here to check it out! 

Happy Friday everyone! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Time To Stitch 7 --- Bags

It's time for another edition of A Time To Stitch!! This fun concept is brought to you by my friends Therese of Therese's Treasures and Christine of One Kiss Creations!   And the concept is simple - they give you a stitch and you create something with that stitch.  In this case, they veered a little bit away from 'stitch' and more on result - which is bags.  Anything beady that is a bag!

I had a few false starts with this project and even started a needlepoint case that I had grand plans of beading but ......  when it came down to it, I went for something I could bring with me to a holiday craft fair I'm heading to today!

This pattern is an oldie in my files and I can't even remember where it came from!  There was also a cat with a pumpkin and a sort of seasonal!

Please visit some of the other ATTS participants today!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

We knocked out all our Halloween events last weekend and it was tons of fun!  My husband and I dressed as hippies from the 60's...and I realized it wasn't too far a stretch from how I typically dress, haha!  My son went as Doctor Who....if you're a fan you'll totally know which doctor he is portraying!

I signed up for a craft fair in November.  I haven't done a craft fair in years, but it's got me geared up at my bead table!  Here's a few things I put together in the past week:

The view is still glowing out my bead table window.  In spite of the lack of rain, we've really been treated to a lovely autumn so far!

Be sure to check in next week for A Time To Stitch (ATTS) reveal day on November 6!!!   Correction - ATTS reveal day is on the 21st!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sabine Lippert's Lovely Designs

Back in March, I became the proud owner of Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies: 30 Romantic Jewelry Projects ( )! This book is fantastic and has so many great projects and I've been busy dabbling in a couple but haven't had a chance to blog about it. The first project I tackled was Nathalie's Pendant:

Next up was another in blue/silver:

The next one I rushed in making and accidentally did only three sides and inadvertently ended up with a triangle.  I think it made its way into my sons pocket (he loves kidnapping my rejects to keep in his pocket!) and it got a little rough around the edges!

Last week I opened the book again and started trying out the Scheherazade pendants! Once again I am thrilled with the results!

I absolutely love these two projects.  Sabine's instructions are fantastic and these projects work up pretty quickly.  A beautiful combination of cubic raw and netting!

In other news - autumn is presenting itself in its full glory here in New England!  Weather was warm earlier this week so we took the kayaks out and it was really spectacular!

Also - here is the maple tree in front of one of the restaurants where I work.  I feel so lucky I get to work here and see this beautiful scenery!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2015

On the Beading Table

Well...the hurricane I was hoping for never really showed itself last weekend.  In fact, the whole weekend only produced one rain shower.  But beading was in the cards for me anyway and I sure got to it! I'm still obsessed with the Swarovski rivolis as you can see....

I am also proud to say that I got started on my ATTS challenge piece!  It's the eighth round of this fun challenge hosted by my friends Therese and Christine and the theme is "What's Your Bag?":

I love that there is a generous lead time for this challenge and it's been on my here I go!!  Check back on November 21 for the reveal!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin

Hurricane Joaquin....or as I hear it: "there's a storm coming so I think I'll stay home all weekend and bead!"  Hehe!  But in all seriousness - I hope everyone weathers the upcoming storm safely and with no damage.  Is it wrong of me to be kind of happy when the weather forecast is so dreary!?

When I sit down to do a blog post, I usually start by gathering some photos and dropping them into a folder labeled with the date I intend to write the post.  The folder I'm pulling from today reads "blog post 9.19.15".  hah!  I had every intention of writing a post when my friend Cynthia (Antiquity Travelers) gifted me with this book!  How lucky am I!?!?!  Thank you SO MUCH Cynthia!!

Of course I used that as an excuse to buy plenty of soutache when I was out and about last week checking out all the bead stores for NH Bead Bop (or as I like to call it "Bead Gluttony 2015"....or "Mom bought too many beads so we're having ramen noodles for dinner all week"....or get the idea!)

But there were coupons...and specials...and raffles!!! NH Bead Bop is so fun.  To participate you buy this tote bag which is valid to use indefinitely.  Then for each year you receive a pin and passport which has all your coupons and raffle entries.

Also - each bag contains a little sack of free goodies.  Here's what I go in my goodie bag from Bead Bush Studio in Deerfield NH:

All the stores in Bead Bop this year agreed to display Bead-It-Forward items so I wanted to check that out as well and everything was displayed so beautifully!  I'm so grateful for all the store owners' support!

Otherwise in my bead world, not much has been happening.  Of course it is always fun to see someone wearing something you made, and here is a shot of a co-worker of mine wearing some earrings I made for her:

Also I needed a bracelet to go with a shirt I was wearing to a work event so I made this:

Not much else going on in my bead world but I sure do have a lot planned for the beads and soutache I obtained while Bead Bopping!

By the way - did you see the lunar eclipse on Sunday?!? What a treat!! We had super clear skies that night and I was able to snap some fun shots (and learned a LOT about DSLR camera settings in the process!)

May all the celestial objects be lined up in your favor!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Farewell Summer 2015

Happy Labor Day Weekend!!

I can't believe summer has drawing to a close!  Kids are back to school.  It's starting to cool down a bit overnight.  And at work I'm starting to see apple cider stations at weddings!

August started out with my birthday....and this photo should tell you I got EXACTLY what I wanted!! Good job hubby!

I had to attend a black-tie wedding at the beginning of the month as well and made this set to wear with a simple black gown.

I am ADORE Swarovski's antique pink crystal color!

We also spent some time in New Jersey for vacation.  We stay in southern NJ and the house we stay at is in a complex situated on the Delaware Bay.  Five minutes (walking) from the house is this path that leads to the bay shore and it's my absolute favorite part of going down there!

This year was just as delightful and we did plenty of beach combing, enjoyed sunsets on the water and there was plenty of wildlife.

Horseshoe crab

There were lots of birds too, which I love, but I never brought my good camera with a zoom to capture some of them.  Clearly though the iPhone does the job for everything else!

For a few days, one of my son's close friends, from when we lived in Maryland, joined us at the beach and that was tons of fun too!

Zorbs on the Wildwood boardwalk! 

When we returned home, Jackson continued to help at the farm where one of my company's restaurants is located.  Here is also are a couple of our veggie hauls when he put in a few hours at the farm!

For one of our last summer 'field trips', Jackson and I decided to go geocaching in a forest on a trail that we saw there were 25 caches located.

Can you see the geocaches?
As we made our way through the trail our find rate was about 50% and my phone was losing battery power rapidly.  So we saw cache #14 on the map and decided that would be the last one we found and would head back.  Well.....just a few seconds after we wandered off the trail to look for the cache, I disturbed a yellow jacket nest.  I yelled, "Ow!!! I''m getting stung by a bee!" Jackson rushed over to help me and started getting stung himself.  Between the two of us we were stung eleven times (Jackson 7, me 4).  Ugh.  We screamed and yelled for help - but apparently we were literally in the middle of no where, as not a single person appeared to see if we were okay! lol!   It was pretty nerve-wracking since my phone was about to die, and  I am known to have severe local reaction! So we had to rush back to my car - which was about 2.5 miles away, writhing in pain!   Jackson recovered marvelously within two hours, I on the other hand continued to worsen as the days went on and now I'm the proud carrier of an EpiPen!  I've been a little jumpy when outside, but in spite of that couldn't help capture this lovely little image at work the other day!

In the meanwhile, I've been taking hundreds, if not thousands of pictures for work.  Lot and lots and lots of food and drink.  Our farm has been unbelievably abundant this year and it shows in all the menus and specials at work.  Here is a sampling:

Foodie fun! 

Finally - I'm still plugging away getting the quilts assembled for Bead-It-Forward.  There are some pretty fun items available to bid on!  Check it out!
Giraffe themed Bead-It-Forward quilt

And if you are in the New England area September 23-26 be sure to stop by the stores participating in the NH Bead Bop to see some of the quilts and crafted objects in person!