Monday, November 29, 2010

Craft Show on December 11

I'm participating in a craft show at the knit-one-one studio again this holiday season. The show is on Saturday, December 11, from 10 AM to 4 PM at the knit-one-one studio in Berkeley, CA. I really dig this little show; it's an intimate gathering of about 12 local artists featuring everything from textiles to jewelry, papercrafts, ceramics, and even chocolate! Check out the knit-one-one blog for more information about all the artists participating in this show. I can personally vouch for the ceramics from KoideStudio - I have two of her kitty mugs and they are the cutest mugs ever :)

Here's a sampling of some of the items that I'll have for sale: 

If you're in the area, I'd love to see you there!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ice Queen Necklace

After refraining from entering contests or challenges for well over a year, I've now committed to two challenges in the past few weeks. I just finished this necklace for the Bead Mavens Ice Queen Challenge:

This piece contains a whopping 17 individual Pagoda Beaded Charms, and it's easily the first time that I've made so many identical beaded beads. 

I actually didn't think of entering this challenge until I coincidentally came up with the color palette for these charms. I like that it's wintery but also glowing with colors of blues and purples - somewhat different than the monochromatic snow-white palette usually associated with winter or an Ice Queen. 

Then again, there's a whole lot that you can do with a monochromatic snow-white palette. Different combinations of crystals, pearls, and different seed bead finishes can add variety and texture without adjusting the colors in a piece. My wedding necklace from last summer uses this strategy:

Upon request, I entered this piece into the challenge too. Check out all the other entries here - there are some seriously beautiful pieces in this gallery!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wintery Mini Ionic Polyhedra

Earlier this year I purchased the Instant Holiday Glam: Color Palettes of Splendor PDF from Margie Deeb, which is full of many interesting and unique combinations of colors for the holiday season. I found some of the color combinations in this eBook quite nontraditional, but on the whole it really got me thinking about new ways to play with color in my beadwork this holiday season.

When I experiment with new color palettes, I like to try them out on a small beaded bead before moving on to the rest of the piece or a larger project. In this case, I wanted to weave a beaded bead with 30 edges, so I made one with 12 edges first to test out the colors. I chose one of Margie's holiday color palettes consisting of silver as the base color, dark rainbow blue as the secondary color, with gold as the accent color. I started by trying it out in this Mini Ionic Octahedron (à la Gwen Fisher of beAd Infinitum):

Unfortunately there's just too much blue in this beaded bead to match the desired color palette, so I made an adjustment to add more silver:

I liked this one better, but I still thought that its silver-to-blue ratio was not quite right. So I switched the structure of the beaded bead from a Mini Ionic Octahedron to its dual, the Mini Ionic Cube:

This accomplished much of what I was going for. The more open structure of the Mini Ionic Cube shows off the round silver beads more than the Mini Ionic Octahedron. 

Satisfied with my color palette, I moved on to the 30-edge structure. There are two regular polyhedra with 30 edges, the dodecahedron and the icosahedron. I felt that the dodecahedron would result in a more open structure, thus showing off the round silver beads more compared to the icosahedron, so I chose that polyhedron and made a Mini Ionic Dodecahedron:

Neat huh? I found it quite satisfying to weave.
 Though hollow, it's remarkably sturdy:
This beaded bead is going to make a nice little Christmas ornament. I think I'll pair it with its cube cousin to make it a stacked ornament. 

The Ionic Polyhedra pattern is available at beAd Infinitum, and it explains in great detail how to weave the Mini Ionic Octahedron and Cube and about a dozen other polyhedra. The Mini Ionic Dodecahedron is one of many variations to this pattern, and should be pretty straightforward to weave for anyone familiar with other dodecahedron beaded beads

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Earrings and Last Week of Wrist Candy!

Time is running out to get in on the 2nd Annual SATeam Wrist Candy Promotion! Until Sunday, 11/28/10, anyone who purchases an item from any of the participating SATeam Etsy shops will be entered in a drawing to win this beautiful charm bracelet, featuring an eclectic collection of handcrafted charms from many individual team members!

I've listed two new pairs of earrings in my Artfire and Etsy shops, both using the Pagoda Beaded Charm design. This pair is all too appropriate for the upcoming holiday season. 

And this pair is much more appropriate for a warmer season, but until then it makes me think of the springtime. And candy.

Click on the images for more information about each item. The Pagoda Beaded Charm tutorial is available in both my Etsy and Artfire shops at my website if you'd like to make your own!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fall Classic Necklace

I'm somewhat tardy in finishing my "Colors of Fall" piece for the blogger program; this challenge totally slipped my mind between all the wedding and honeymoon planning this past summer. For this piece, I knew that I wanted to try one of Cynthia Newcomer Daniel's chain lace tutorials, since her chain lace tuts specifically call for curb chain from Artbeads' base metal components line. Of course I knew that beaded beads would be involved somehow, but I've been so addicted to my new Pagoda beaded charms that it really wasn't much of a choice :)

To match the Colors of Fall, I chose copper chain for the base of the necklace, and red magma Swarovski crystals for the Pagoda charms. I also used crystal copper 4 by 7 mm briolette Swarovski pendants (article no. 6007) in place of the Czech drops, since I generally enjoy experimenting to see if this substitution will work in any of my beading designs.

After experimenting with Cynthia Newcomer Daniel's Chain Lace tut, I eventually settled on a one-sided variation resembling the chain used in her Crowning Glory necklace, using gold, dark metallic garnet, and surprisingly purple seed beads from my own stash. Here's the finished necklace:

The Pagoda Beaded Charms worked great with the briolette Swarovski pendants, the same result I previously achieved with the Teardrop Bubbles and Double Bubble Jacks beaded bead designs as detailed in this previous post. I'm beginning to think that these crystals can be generally substituted for these Czech teardrop beads.

I liked this necklace so much that I kept it for myself :). The copper chain is currently beginning to oxidize compared to when I first took these photos, which is really bringing out the gold seed beads woven into the chain.

A pair of matching earrings completes the set:

The Pagoda Beaded Charm tutorial is currently available on my website. Remember that through 11/28/10, anyone who purchases an item from my Etsy shop or any of the other participating SATeam shops will be entered in a drawing to win a beautiful charm bracelet!

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has about 4 or 5 chain lace tutorials available in her Etsy and Artfire shops, so be sure to check those out as well.

I named this necklace "Fall Classic" after the nickname of the baseball championship World Series, because I wove the majority of it while listening to game 6 of the NLCS, in which my San Francisco Giants beat the Phillies to advance to the World Series. Since the Giants hadn't won the World Series in 56 years (and never in their time in San Francisco), I was following the game quite intently. By the end of the game, I was getting so excited that I was shaking, and I had to stop beading! I'm still stoked that they went on to beat the Rangers to win it all!

Full disclosure: The swarovski crystals and curb chain used in this necklace were received as a gift from No payment was made for the review of these products.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Tutorial: Pagoda Beaded Charm

I finished my newest beadweaving tutorial, the Pagoda Beaded Charm:

I came up with this design when planning for my wedding last summer, when I needed to come up with matching earrings for my bridesmaids' beadwoven bracelets. After some experimenting, I eventually came up with this design and I even managed to take a quick photo of the original among all the hustle and bustle of wedding planning: 

I can't get enough of this little charm! It uses Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, and five kinds of Japanese seed beads. I even incorporated a few of the new peanut-shaped Japanese seed beads into this charm, although they can be replaced by Japanese seed beads in a pinch. I think I like this design so much because it has so much going on in just one little cluster of beads, and it works up quickly to boot! I love testing out new color schemes with this design, like in these earrings:

This design also works as a beaded bead when strung on thin beading wire. I incorporated six of them into this shimmery necklace:

This necklace uses the same lampwork beads (from the fabulous Melissa Vess) as two of my previous pieces. I love how these lampwork beads work so well with slightly different variations on this color palette. 

The Pagoda Beaded Charm tutorial is available in both my Etsy and Artfire shops. Remember that through 11/28/10, anyone who purchases an item from my Etsy shop or any of the other participating SATeam shops will be entered in a drawing to win a beautiful charm bracelet!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quick Update re Online Venues

Just a quick update on the places to find Bead Origami tutorials and jewelry online. 

I've been slowly updating my oft-neglected website with new additions to the Gallery. I'm thinking up ideas for a re-design of my website, with the goal of making my beadweaving patterns available for purchase through the website as direct downloads instead of via e-mail delivery. I'm still weighing my options on how to go about doing this, but I hope to have this done by the end of the year.

In the meantime, I've gone Pro with my Artfire shop where I'm slowly adding jewelry and tutorials. So, if you're a fan of Artfire, you can now find my work there in addition to my Etsy shop. Update Winter 2012: my Artfire shop is now closed. Please visit my website for tutorials and my latest beaded art.

Finally, be sure to keep an eye on this blog - I'm almost ready to release my next beadweaving tutorial!
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