Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cherry Blossom Cuff

The peach blossoms are in full swing here in South Georgia.  Although the farmers were wishing for at least 70 more chill hours to keep them from blossoming too early, there is no fighting with Mother Nature.  The Japanese magnolias have finished, but the camellias keep on going and going.  This week the first azaleas popped open in mass (a few wayward blooms have been opening here and there since January).  Soon the yard will be a riot of spring color. And of course I continue stitching flowers and more flowers.
no matter what I did I could not get the text I added to the collage to appear here
This lovely pattern is from Lorelai's Beads Shop.  She also has a blog, and a DeWanda shop.  There are a few more patterns in the DeWanda shop than in the Etsy shop so you might want to check out both.  I actually purchased from the DeWanda shop because I found it first.  

I changed the colors in the pattern slightly from what the original suggested.  The background was to be a crystal ab, but I wanted an opaque background to I used opaque light gold (DB335).  Most of the colors in the flower I also switched out - trading transparent for opaque - so that the flowers would stand out against the background.  But a glance at the pattern and you see that the overall effect is not much different.
sayuri collection cherry blossom peyote pattern
I took the picture earlier this week on a day when the sun was actually shining and we had no rain.  Since then I've finished the toggles.  I wanted to put some great textured polished stone buttons on to close the cuff.  They were fairly small and mimicked the texture of bark, but I dropped one on the stone floor in the kitchen and it broke.  I did have more, but I started thinking about how many times I drop jewelry and decided that toggles were safer. 

I've also made earrings with white cinnabar, sari silk, and a red Russian leaf.  These are very similar to Think Spring.  Every time wear these I get asked to make another pair.  I'd better get stitching because I've got my eye on some fancy schmancy gemstone beads.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Songbeads: a plea to blogger bloggers everywhere

Please read Rebecca's message [link above] and turn off your captcha codes. I want to read and comment on your blogs, but I've been having a hard time proving I'm not a robot!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Suburban Girl Design Team Seeks New Members

Suburban Girl Studio is looking for three more design team members.  The first challenge will be using this great orange ceramic blossom, Bloom & Grow.  Click the link below to read about the challenge and sign up.

Black Daisy Designs: Bag-Finds Giveaway!

Black Daisy Designs: Bag-Finds Giveaway!: Check out the goodies Anna-Karin is giving away...and enter to win them all.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Think Spring Earrings

cinnabar beads, beaded Russian leaves, sterling silver, copper, sari silk

Russian leaves with 11/0 & 15/0 both in gold lustered green tea
cinnabar beads from Michael's

Monday, February 6, 2012

Project of the month - Thanks Diane Fitzgerald!

¡six of the eight leaves x almost three hours each!
It took me almost a month...well, about 48 beading hours that I fit into the past month.   I finished Diane Fitzgerald's Gingko Leaf Necklace.  This came after one of my husband's epiphanies this holiday season - bead kits make great presents.  It really is perfect because it is a splurge that I would probably not buy for myself, but which I love.  Before I started I read somewhere that each leaf took about three hours.  I didn't really believe this until I got going.  I think I got that time down a little, but it was hard to tell because I don't think I actually sat for that amount of time in a row.  I love the piece!  I can't wait to put some of the things I learned from it to use in some more work.

No longer am I afraid to make long necklaces - this one has a 15/0 peyote spiral around a satin cord that goes on for miles. Diane's directions for the spiral are super easy.  I thought I might have some trouble using such tiny beads, but I had not trouble going round and round.  Any errors were easy to spot right away.  I also thought for sure I would see all the new threads, but I got pretty good at weaving everything in a seamless manner (my method differs a little from Diane's method).  A cone of Nymo B, some beeswax, and a thread burner got me through the long piece.  At one point I had to stop and work on leaves because I was pretty certain I was giving myself a repetitive stress injury, but a few days off and I was good as new.  I think the spiral part ended up being about 34 inches, which is a bit longer than the direction.
I spy a strand of corgi hair in that necklace
Working on the leaves in brick stitch and blending the colors has given me a new appreciation for transparent Delicas.  I've been thinking about making some leaves in spring/summer colors so when winter ends I won't have to leave my new favorite necklace in the drawer until next fall.
a sweet little leaf...

...the ruffles really disguise the actual size of each leaf...
What fun!