May 30, 2008

Prayer Beads

I reviewed a book on the Art Bead Scene called Bead One, Pray Too by Kimberly Winston.

Here are two examples of small Angelican Rosaries that I've created after being inspired by the ideas and thought process behind using beads for prayer. These are small strands of beads, 9" long and both are gifts for friends. They aren't worn, but used while meditating/praying.

This one starts off with a branch bead to remind my friend to leave the chaos/wilderness of the world and to enter into a time of prayer. The bird is used to remind her that if God cares for the birds of the field, he will provide for his children. I used stones as a symbol of our Creator's unending faithfulness to us and the glass as a reminder that life is fragile and precious. The wood beads are more personal as a reminder of the cross. This gift is for a friend who shares my same spiritual beliefs.

The next rosary is a friend who is more spiritual than religious and while we don't share beliefs, our connection to nature and things spiritual is shared. I know she likes to meditate and would enjoy the prayer beads for that purpose and to symbolize our friendship. I started this one with a piece of coral that I found on a recent trip we took to the beach. We both feel a strong connection to our spiritually when we are near water. I used a pearl for that same reason. The next bead is a disk bead, I used four disk beads to symbolize the elements of earth, water, air and fire. The amazonite beads seem heavenly to me and I wanted to use beads that came from the earth and were close to nature.

I enjoyed the book so much and can see many more creations from my bead table that hold special meaning for me and as gifts.

May 28, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Insectia

Dragonfly Earrings

2 small Hill Tribe Silver dragonfly pendants
2 disk beads - Humblebeads
2 8mm smoky quartz beads
4 6mm pearls
4 8mm faceted pearls
4 4mm crystals
24 nickel seed beads, size 11
2 5mm flat spacers
2 6mm flat spacers
2 crimp beads
2 silver earring wires
Beading wire
Crimping Pliers
Wire Nippers

1. Cut two 6 inch lengths of beading wire.
2. On one of the beading wires, string on the dragonfly and let it fall to the center of the wire.
3. On one side string a 6mm pearl, seed bead, 8mm pearl, seed bead, crystal, seed bead. Repeat pattern on the other side of the dragonfly.
4. String both sides of the wire through a 5mm spacer, disk bead, 6mm spacer, smoky quartz bead and a crimp bead.
5. On each wire string 3 seed beads.
6. Loop each side into the opposite side of seed beads to form a little loop on the top. Thread the beading wire back through the crimp bead and smoky quartz bead.
7. Pull the beading wires very tight so only a small amount of the beading wire shows on the top. Crimp the crimp bead. Nip of the excess wire as close to the smoky quartz bead as possible. Tuck the end of the wires down into the spacer bead.
8. Add earwire and repeat the process to create the second earring.
Note: The wires must be pulled very tight before crimping for the dragonfly to lay properly. This may take some patience and a pair of pliers!
I created this pair of earrings as a companion for my Eclectic Dragonfly Necklace that first appeared in BeadStyle magazine. The necklace went on to make an appearance on PBS' Beads, Baubles and Jewels. It can now be seen in BeadStyle's Easy Beading Vol. 4.

Disk beads can be found in my Etsy shop or at my Humblebeads site. Dragonflies can be found at Rings & Things.
This project is part of Ornament Thursday. A collection of designers that tackles a theme each month in a marathon of creativity. To check out the other projects visit the links below.

May 19, 2008

Bead Shopping!

Okay, with a little mention on Beading Daily, I thought I should update my blog real quick.
Time is so short as my pile of orders is slowing dwindling down and getting out the door. I've been on a no computer ban while I catch up. Not always easy, wish I could sprout extra hands.

My other pair (Jess) has gone off to join the work force once again. I find myself with a mixture of sadness and relief. Relief that I don't have to be the bread winner, can relax a little and hey a few minutes to myself sounds nice! Sad because darn if I didn't love having Jess do all the knitty-gritty work that takes up so much of my time. He is also endlessly entertaining and a great cook. I've been spoiled these last few months.

So what's to catch up on? The bead show was super fun and boy did I enjoy shopping for beads! You can read about some of my finds on the Art Bead Scene. It was my turn for Studio Saturday, so I'm giving away a free urchin bead.
And the rest of the stash? Here it is:
Surprise finds? Pressed glass and lucite beads, not my usual fare. I see a lot of dark wood, copper and neutrals mixed with these lighter colors.

A little pair of woodland flower earrings using lucite, pressed glass, copper and my branch disk beads in lime.

Okay, time for me to run. Come back later this week, I have so many new beads and jewelry creations to share with you.

p.s. I've had a terrible time with emails over the last few weeks, if you emailed and haven't heard back within 48 hours, I didn't get it! Try again. I've heard that there has been an outbreak of email problems. Sheesh, sometimes you wonder what the little mice who run the net are actually doing with those messages!

May 9, 2008

Day Late and a Necklace Short!

I'm pleased to share another round of Collaboration Exploration. This is where two beadmakers and designer team up for a little creative exercise. The beadmakers make a collection of beads for each person and then each of us designs something combining the two art beads. My partners in crime this time are ceramic beadmaker Mary Harding and up-and-coming designer Lorelei Eurto.

My first necklace combines Mary's Thistle pendant with a set of copper lariat beads. I added in a raku disk and one of mine to complete the pendant. The necklace is rounded out with wood and copper coin pearls.

My second necklace is a charming little number with Mary's clover pendant front and center. A combination of our beads are mixed in with a few pressed glass finds. The necklace is completed with an adjustable leather cord that uses a large ceramic disk bead to hold it together, working as the clasp.

Check out Mary and Lorelei's collaboration results.

I have another design on my bead table, but that will have to wait until next week. Someone stole all of my hours this week, I haven't had a minute to bead!

May 2, 2008

A Humble Helper

I was playing around with my camera this week. I've wanted to learn how to work with video and pulled out the camera to see what we could do. So with mistakes included and not too thrilling action shots, here is my first attempt. (not to mention my messy studio) I should mention that Jess isn't shy and quite a ham, so you'll see and hear more from he later on, he was just in the "zone" when I pulled out the camera!

The bead show is this weekend. I have lots of birds, wafers and urchins and little bit of everything else. Not as much as I wanted to get done, but there is only so much my little bead factory can produce.

Now I'm off to make the announcement of the Art Bead Scene's May Challenge...

May 1, 2008

Bead Cruise Scoop

Polymer clay urchin beads, ready for the show this weekend!

What a week, what a week!
The Bead Cruise 2009 information has been posted on the website.

I want to take all the classes! One of these years I'll get smart and not teach so I can do just that. But it's so much fun teaching on the cruise, how could I not?

So where are we going? We are going to sail from New Orleans to Cozumel, Santo Tomas de Castilla, Belize City and Costa Maya. I've been to Cozumel and Costa Maya, the beaches are so beautiful there.

I can't believe it takes me a whole year to plan these events! Although I have to admit this has been the easiest year. I've even considered doing more than one a year. (Okay, that and the possibility of cloning myself may happen!)

The cruise never lasts long enough, so we are going on a 7 day cruise. It seems like right when we are really starting to have fun, the cruise is over. And while the cruise is spectacular and the classes are amazing, what I really love every year is going on vacation with a great group of talented and generous beady friends. Our bead cruisers are what really makes the cruise!
Okay, back to making beads for me...