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St. Louis, Missouri, United States
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Finished with the white/crystal AB bracelet!

My beading is getting faster and faster. I started and finished my sister's bracelet after I posted the blog below... I still have to end it though. I'm using the same silver toggle clasp I used on my brown bracelet. I have to think this through. I will weave in the warp threads, then I will seal the last rows with E-6000, then I will weave in the 7-strand beading wire through 6mm Swarovskis to the clasps. It looks neater that way, instead of having the threads showing.
I'm sad because the green/brown bracelet with the copper clasp was too big for the recipient. I have to shave off an inch.... so I'm going to redo it. She loved it though, which made me happy. She, in turn, gave me tons of vintage beads and empty vials to hold the beads, so I was most happy. She "commissioned" me to make a necklace using Venetian glass beads. I have to incorporate some wire jig work.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finished my brown bracelet - the terminals suck!

10/0 Miyuki Delicas in Brown Iris mixed with 11/0 Toho Rounds Metallic Iris Green/Brown. Nymo Brown Size D thread.

I love the width, but I could have added maybe 5 more rows. I'm having such trouble finishing the ends (terminals). I forgot to warp weave the warp threads in. I put the E-6000 epoxy on the ends before I lifted the piece from the loom. On one side, once I threaded the threads through the clasp, the bead, and the crimp bead, I crimped the bead closed and it cut the threads and came apart! I threaded a 7 strand tigertail wire through the last row and it worked. I have to really figure out how to end these things. I didn't want to do the anchor weave, but I may have to. I love the Miyuki Delica beads. They're exquisite. There were NO bad beads in the bunch.

I think my next project will be a white/crystal AB bracelet for my sister.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This bracelet 'bout killed me!

Huge lesson learned here: always plan the beading projects. This first bracelet had no plan. I thought I could put 29 warp threads (the vertical threads) and bead for about 7 inches, put some toggle clasps on it, and be done. That's not how this happened. Once I got to the ends, I had to figure out (aka learn) how end them (the terminals). Not easy. Thank God for E-6000 Epoxy. I thought it would be cute to make loops out of one side of the terminals and make toggles of the other side. I made really cute copper toggles, and I had copper squares with jump rings for the other end. It didn't work out because the length of the bracelet was too long. I didn't figure in the length of the clasps. I'm either going to keep the piece or undo it and reuse the beads.

I replanned Karen's gift, with 17 warp threads, at 6 1/2 inches, and it came out perfect:

I love the bead color. The beads I used are Toho round 11/0, in Metallic Iris Green/Brown and Rainbow Jonquil/Forest Green Lined, with a copper 3-strand hook/eye clasp (from Beadaholique @ Amazon.com). I only had cream colored Nymo thread for this bracelet, so I dipped the bracelet in cocoa brown rit dye/water to darken the thread. It gave it an antique look. I finished the ends with E-6000 epoxy. The next bracelet I do will be for ME, in Miyuki Delicas 10/0 in Brown Iris, with Nymo beading thread in Brown, size D.

This Bali bead bracelet is for my niece Colbi, per her request:

These earrings are for my sister, 20g silver colored copper wire and 4mm crystal AB Swarovski bicones:

It was a productive Christmas, I must say. I'm glad I even got to break out my knitting needles!

Now I can play my Sims 3 Late Night for a couple of days before I start on something else.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's coming along nicely!

It's coming along nicely. It works up pretty fast. If I wasn't such a procrastinator, I'd have been done already... but with the distractions of the internet... you know how it is. I'm at the point now that I need to make this bracelet longer. I'm going to bravely tape it off and remove it from the loom, then start another weave. I want the bracelet to be at least 6 3/4" long. I haven't figured out how to close it. Now I wish I had stretch thread. I may even get some and do this over. This is my learning process, and I usually figure out what I need or don't need, or how to do something better. I would like an elegant clasp for this bracelet, since it's a gift. I may have to craft something up on my jig.
On a positive note, the size 10 needles are great! I've used almost every bead I've picked up (a couple have slipped out of my hands onto the carpet).
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today's Adventures

^^I took the idea for these spiral dangle earrings from the hoops with the spirals. I love these earrings. They're light as a feather. (My bead loom makes a great earring display too.)

Beginning the project that started my beading obsession. These beads came from Auntie's Beads. It's the Miyuki Seed Bead Mix, Good Earth, size 11/0. I've got some size 10 needles, and I will cry crocodile tears if these beads don't fit over the needles. I'm imagining to make a 2" cuff. I don't know how I'll end it yet. I'll cross those threads when I come to them! It's so bizarre, because I've been having dreams that involve me being in a bead store. What's up with that?

At the same time, I've been knitting hats for the menfolk of the family (their Christmas presents). This hat is called the Gansey Watch Cap, from Hats On! by Charlene Schurch. I had to restart it twice, because I have the flu, and I couldn't figure out what the body of the hat was doing in the pattern. Third time, I figured it out. It's going quickly, since I started this over last night. I hope to be finished with this one by this evening.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Beadweaving by Loom

First bead kit, Darice 1012-24 Bead Loom Kit, $7.94, Amazon.com

Just My Style Wooden Bead Weaving Loom Set, $10, Wal-Mart

I'm diligently working on my practice beadweaving. I've discovered, as a new bead weaver, that I DON'T LIKE CULLING BEADS (removing the beads that don't fit the needle eye)!! Now I see why the Delica beads are coveted. They're all a uniform size, and they (probably) have uniform hole. I haven't used Delica beads yet, so I'm going off of reviews and other beading blogs and sites. So far so good. I know I'll need smaller needles. The needles in the kits don't specify what size they are. As you can see, there are more goodies with the Wal-Mart kit than the Amazon.com kit. I think the Wal-Mart kit is a toy, but I'm going to use it for serious jewelry making. The Wal-Mart purchased loom is much wider than the Amazon kit, but I love having both of them. I only went to Wal-Mart to see if they had any beads, and I lucked up on this loom.
I love delving into new projects, because I discover new things. The kits contain various colored beads, but white thread, so I know, going forward, that I'll need to coordinate the color of beading thread. I've already ordered beads for Karen's bracelet, from Auntie's Beads. I like the prices, the fact that you can pay with your PayPal account, and the shipping is fast. I hope to have the beads before Christmas. So far, I'm loving bead weaving on the loom. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One project down, many to go!

Finished! It lays perfectly, hitting about mid chest. I still had some components left over, so I may make a bracelet and either post it on my Esty page or keep it for myself. Me likey! All handmade... all the findings, components, and wrapped beads.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reworked Diamond Dangle Earrings

These are the reworked Diamond shaped dangle earrings from a couple of posts back. I made the long wire into a wire wrapped loop and put on a french ear wire. I think the original WigJig design is cool, but I have to think out that design a little more (to keep the wire from slipping out my ear. The long wire behind the ear gets caught in my hair too, and that's a no no.

These are just puzzle piece charms that I found on the internet. I don't like the wire wrapped long piece, so I'm going to buy an already made silver tone chain and connect it that way.

<< the last component (out of 34!)
I'm almost done with making the 18g components on the WigJig Centaur. Forgive my jewelry working station. Anyway, the 18g wire not easy to wrap around the pegs. Since this is a bracelet pattern, and I'm converting it into a necklace pattern, the results should be interesting.

I've found something new to add to my jewelry arsenal: beadweaving on a loom. I purchased a loom yesterday (from Amazon.com). It looks really easy to do. I'm going to make a bracelet for my boyfriend's sister. I think her skin may react to the base metals I work with, so she should be fine with glass beads and cloth. She's earthy, so I've picked out some pretty colors for her. I'm going to make a copper clasp for her though.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gift Making!

I was still working on Meghann's Flower earrings. I wanted the flower to sit upright, so it dawned on me to make spirals with my WigJig Spiral maker (I have the Centaur, so this spiral is for that one.) The wire is coming through the hole in the middle of the flower, and I twisted it around the spiral. The end of the spiral has the loop for the earwire. It worked!

I'm working on this WigJig design for a relative. I was told that she can't wear anything but gold, and I can't afford gold right now. It's a bracelet design that I'm going to turn into a necklace, that she can wear over her clothes. It's 18g gold colored brass for the wire components, 24g gold toned copper (for the bead dangles), and green colored Swarovski crystal pearls. I think it's lovely. I kept a couple of beads out for me to make some earrings for myself. I'm getting really good at making the bead dangles. I guess what they say is right: practice makes perfect!