Thursday, February 16, 2012

First 'Professional' Tutorial

I'm really excited to announce that I have my first 'professional' tutorial up for sale in my Etsy shop!!! I've written for magazines in the past, held a small class or two for friends, and uploaded freebies on my blog, but nothing feels quite as good as having a well put together set of instructions for sale!

The piece in question is my Scallop Stitched Double Washer Pendant. You can see the original post here, where I initially wanted to show just half of the process. However, I got a request from a friend to do a full tutorial, which is where my work needs to head if I'm going to make a productive living.

I never thought it would feel this great to share my knowledge this way! *HUGE sigh of relief for completing a promise to myself* I hope you guys enjoy!

Now available HERE in my Etsy Shop.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Olympics 2012: Bead Threading

Illustration by JD Dixon

Revisiting Old Ideas

One amazing aspect of having a significant other that's also an artist is being given creative input on things you shove under their nose. I was sorting through my bead stash the other day and managed to get rid of six containers by condensing everything I still want down into three compartmentalized boxes! In the process JD tells me that one of my Wal-Mart clearance finds looks a lot like this piece I made and sold a while back.

And that's why I made this necklace yesterday. The color scheme of brown/purple/silver was also a suggestion. And of course I couldn't help but put a small beaded gear in the center.

You can find it listed for sale in my Etsy shop. :-)

I plan on making another with turquoise and copper accents soon, which is whenever I pop another disc of Farscape into the computer. The design is fairly simple, while the execution takes time in determining the proper balance of elements. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Two for Tuesday: Josephine's Garden Necklace


.....hello. I've been in kind of a bum mood lately. I've been fully enjoying being able to bead all I want between jobs. However, I know that it's not going to last. I think this is the reason I've been way too lax on producing the tutorials I promised myself I'd make. I think I'm too much of a flake for my own good. I am a work in progress. Thank you all for being here to encourage me onward.

Today I've decided to post a Two for Tuesday, mostly because I spent yesterday ripping apart really old projects to recycle the beads. I should have been working on the BJP instead, but hey, plans change right?

This piece is called Josephine's Garden. I sketched the centerpiece while looking for Victorian inspiration on the internet in early 2010. I had a Victorian craft show I was going to that December and wanted some ideas. I finished this piece last summer after having created the centerpiece in the spring of 2011.

I hand cut the copper with my jeweler's saw, gave it a VERY light etching, soldered on the twisted wire bezel, and cut out the little triangle dangle. The plastic cabochon is glued into the center. (I know, cheating, excuse here. Oops.) I achieved the patina by blackening the copper with the soldering torch and then using wire brushes and a flex shaft to make the copper reappear in areas.

I obviously didn't use a profile cameo like I intended because black just didn't go with the metal. I am particularly proud of the beading on this piece. All of it was stitched in a 16 hour beading marathon!!! That's both Lion Kings and some weird Indie film I can't remember, plus several reruns of TV shows online.

The fold-over triangle bail took FOREVER, as most do anyway. The design on it was by whim. The herringbone bezel for the triangle drop was experimental, with beads popping up between the stitches. By proudest achievement was the bugle bead dutch spiral rope. I had to dig back to a really old issue of B&B to find any sort of instructions, (forgot the designer, sorry). However, I modified the stitch to make the ladders more open and strung glass pearls inside of the rope!!! I used Cynthia Rutledge's peyote ring design from a recent issue of BEADWORK for the toggle loop and modified it to use bugle beads instead. I also make a peyote toggle to match. This necklace was just one big AHA moment waiting to happen. :-)

What do you think?

Also, wish me luck on my job interview tomorrow! I've never been a waitress before.