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Friday, December 31, 2010

Flashback Friday - Twig Chip Cascade

The next step in the evolution of Maria Rypan Twig series came when she saw some great stone chips. Using the chips at the end of branch of the coral fringe change the look of the design. Here is my personal necklace using moonstone chips.
You will also notice that instead of simple bugle beads she included press glass rectanglar beads. They add to the presence of the piece. It is a much fuller and bigger piece.
I have since made a number of sample pieces, with different stone chips, for Maria to have on display in her booth and to photograph for kit covers. This piece has been on loan to Maria for a number of show and I just got it back this fall.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 in review

It is the end of another year and here is my review of my beading this year. The year started out with the resizing of String Quartet and ended with colourful snowflakes.

Here are a few favourites -

 Dragon's Blood Necklace

Little Black Dress Necklace

Lizzie's Trio of bracelets

In July I took classes with the very talented Marcia DeCoster @ beadfx. Here are my beaded beads.

Bellismo Beaded Beads
From her book Beaded Opulence my two favourites.
 Dark Indigo Quetzal Ring

Urchin Bead

From Laura McCabe's  Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovksi I finally did the Crown Jewel.

Bermuda Crown Jewel

My third box in my dragon series is my Smaug box.

Of the many Rypan Design projects and samples here are my favourites this year. The first two were contemporary Ukrainian necklaces designed for a young Ukraninian-American graduate.

Contemporary Ukrainian Necklaces

Friday, December 24, 2010

Red, Gold and Orange Snow??

No, it is not snowing colourful snow it Toronto. But over the last week my friend Anna and I have made snow ornaments in red, gold and orange.

Anna wanted to make these colourful snowflakes for her daughter in-law and a friend. I was recruited to help get them done asap.

We used the pre-made snowflake forms and added various beads to each arm to create one-of-a-kind snowflakes. As in nature no two snowflakes are alike.

My first was this all red flake.

Anna made these four orange and gold snowflakes.

I made these six red and gold flakes.
We tried to use only bead that either of us had in our stash of beads. I was surprised at how many different orange beads I had. Many of the red beads were extras from the 2007 Toronto Bead Society bag of bead challenge.

This are quick and easy to make, but as with all stringing projects it is the layout of the beads that takes the longest. It is also a challenge to finish the ends. You can glue a bead on the end, but we decided to fold over the end. It is not easy to do but it give you a small loop to use for hang the snowflakes.

Flashback Friday - Cascading Twigs

After last week's simply strung pieces I decided to look back at this netted collar with coral fringing. I made this necklace as part of a three week series of beadwork class that Maria Rypan offered a number of years ago. Each week we selected one of her projects and our own colours and learned the basic technique. I made this collar in silver lined red to wear with a mock turtleneck sweater. I no longer have the sweater but still have this great necklace.

This is a variation of Maria's current Cascading Twigs. I have the twigs worked closer together.  The earrings are made by doing just a small section of the necklace and working in the finding.

Next Flashback Friday will be the next step in cascading twig variations.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flashback Friday - Strung designs

For many stringing is the first form of beading they do. Now I likely strung my share of pasta and Cheerios as a child, but as an adult my first beadwork was beadweaving, netting to be more specific.

My first attempt at stringing involved some beautiful red and white lampwork beads, fire-polished crystals and beading thread. It ended with the thread breaking as I stood waiting in the rain for a bus. I was able to rescue the lampwork beads. I then learned about beading wire and crimps. I was not able to find that first piece, but here are some early strung pieces.

Although the technique of bead stringing is easy, the design process for some projects is not. Here is one that proved a challenge. The heart shaped stone beads are an unusual shade of green. I tried many different green beads but was not happy with any of the combinations. I then remember some basic colour theory and choose a purple swarovski crystal. As a complementary colour to the green, the crystals worked wonderfully!
The completed set looked great and is perfect to show to fellow beads when talking about colour and beads!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Box 3

I have not been making as many beaded boxes lately. But during recently attempt to tidy up my beading area I came across the started third box in my series inspired by the lampwork beads of Amy Waldman Smith. I figured that it would be a good idea to try and finish the series before the end of the year.

So here is box 3. It is the flipped version of box 2. I flipped my charted pattern and the lampwork bead for the finial.
I also decided to take the two matching pairs of lampwork beads and make earrings to go in these two coordinating boxes.
I now only have 4 striped beads left from the original set. I am thinking about making either a striped hexagon box with four feet or a triangle box with three feet and a finial.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flashback Friday - Beaded Bead

This beaded bead on a spiral rope bracelet was at the bottom of one of my jewellry drawers. It was made a number of years ago.

The beaded bead is from one of the great beadwork resource books, The art and elegance of beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells.  It is a dimensional right angle weave bead embellished with drop beads.

The addition of the sprial rope using the same colour beads made this a fun and funky bracelet.

Monday, December 6, 2010

More One of a Kind Buys

Yesterday was the last day of the One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale here in Toronto. I was back down for my third visit this year. We went to a few vendors we missed last time, checked out the new vendors and revisited some of our favourites.

One that I missed on earlier visits was J.D. Leather Co. I have one of their bags already. They had some beautiful large letter bags, including one in a dark blue. It has now found a place in my growing collection of leather bags.

I also returned to Light House Photo Gallery. Carol Ann Norris' photos are a favourite of mine. I have three of her floral photos in my bedroom. I decided to get a new beautiful blue poppy photo to change up the selection on my wall.

We also returned to Worn Beadies. Amber had a selection of orphan beads. Here are the ones that came home with me.

I also stopped by Tascidesigns to show Nadia the rest of the creations I had made with her beads.

This year's One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale was great. I am looking forward to the spring show.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dotted Bead Collection

Here are my last two projects using the dotted beads that I purchased at the One of a Kind Show from Tascidesigns.

For the necklace I added some beautiful paper beads and Swarovski crystals. As with many simply strung necklaces it took longer to decide on the sequencing of the beads. I changed this necklace half a dozen times before deciding on the final pattern.

I then took the last two beads with a few Swarovski crystals and made a set of earrings.
The complete Dotted Bead Collection

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pacific Opal Crystals and Dots

Last Sunday I went back to the One of a Kind Show and stopped by Tascidesigns booth to show her what I had created with her beads. I decided to buy up the rest of the turquoise and cream dotted beads that she had there.

I have spent the week playing with eight beads and have a few designs in progress. Friday night I finished the first design. It uses three of the dotted beads, Swarovski crystals and some simple chain. The simply strung centre segment has lengths of chain linked together with Pacific Opal crystals on eyepins. I am getting better at making loops.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Flashback Friday - Netted Crystal Ornament

At only 2cm this week's ornament is much smaller that last week's ornament. From December 2003's Bead and Button magazine this ornament is encased in a netted cover and then embellished with coral fringe. 

Delicas were the beads listed in the materials list, so that is what I used for my first version of the ornament.
All though it looks great I was not happy with the way the netting looked. I have always found that netting looks better if done with seed beads. Here is my second ornament done with size 10 seed beads.