Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tutorial Sale: Two Days Left

Just a reminder that until December 31, all of my beaded bead tutorials in my Artfire shop are 15% off.
The sale ends at 11:59 PM on December 31, so don't delay!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Tutorial Sale!

It's the end of 2010, so it's prime time to start thinking about what you'd like to do in the new year. What are your goals in 2011? For beadweaving ideas, perhaps you'd like to expand your color choices, learn a new technique, or work with entirely new materials?

For the second year in a row, I'm offering a special end-of-the-year opportunity to get those ideas flowing. Until December 31, all of my beaded bead tutorials in my Artfire shop are 15% off.
Sorry, this sale is only applicable to the tutorials in my Artfire shop, not those available in my Etsy shop or via beAd Infinitum. (However, I urge you to check out beAd Infinitum's newly-modified copyright statement, which better supports individual jewelry artists who want to incorporate beAd Infinitum designs into their work. Check out the latest newsletter for details.)

The last time I offered a tutorial sale was a year ago today, so make sure not to miss out on this deal. The sale ends at 11:59 PM on December 31!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Eclectic Beaded Bead Pendant

Remember those Balloon Box beaded beads that I made with extra fringe drop seed beads a few months ago? I finally got around to incorporating them into jewelry in this eclectic pendant:
The larger Balloon Box beaded beads are accompanied by some medium-sized beaded beads constructed from classic round Japanese seed beads, both 3.4 mm and 2.8 mm Miyuki drop beads, as well as peanut-shaped Japanese seed beads. I liked how I was able to incorporate all three of these uniquely-shaped seed beads into one beaded bead, but they show just a little too much thread for my taste. They eventually served as prototypes for the mosaic beaded beads that I made for Marcie's Margie and Me color challenge last month.
A couple of basic cube beaded beads, constructed from 3.4 mm Miyuki drop beads, complete the pendant. 

The Balloon Box beaded bead pattern is available at beAd Infinitum if you'd like to make your own!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Time Machine and Pentacluster Pieces

Recently, I had the opportunity to try Gwen and Florence's Time Machine beaded bead pattern from beAd Infinitum. I ended up making two Time Machines in different color schemes. I thoroughly appreciated the level of detail and quality of writing in this pattern, as it allowed me to complete two Time Machine beaded beads without any confusion or half-completed beaded messes. 

This Time Machine beaded bead features hues of patina green, light amethyst, and copper. I decided to make it into a pendant:

I like how faceted roundelles can be used in this pattern; there are some gorgeous beads in this shape coming out of the Czech Republic nowadays in color schemes not found in faceted round beads. 
I also made an Ionic Pentacluster in the same color scheme, just because:
For this next piece, I again chose my color scheme from a particular green and purple color palette from a Czech faceted roundelle. I also used these same roundelles when stringing this necklace:

I originally had a completely different idea in mind for another beaded bead to pair with the Time Machine focal, but I found that Pagoda beaded charms matched style of the Time Machine much better. I think the matching Miyuki fringe drops really tie them toether. I also made two related, slightly larger beaded beads in a design which I think I'll name the Double Pagoda beaded bead. Cyclamen opal Swarovski bicone crystals complete the necklace...

...and Pagoda beaded charm earrings complete the set. 

The Time Machine and Ionic Polyhedra beaded bead patterns are available at beAd Infinitum, while the Pagoda beaded charm tutorial is available in my Artfire and Etsy shops on my website

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jewelry for the Craft Show: Old and New Designs

Between weaving beaded beads, forming a few dozen pairs of earwires, and folding origami gift boxes, I'm almost ready for the craft show tomorrow. I took the time to re-create a few popular pieces which sold out from my Etsy shop a while ago, such as this Light Clusters beaded bead earring and pendant set:
I also decided that I could part with this springtime-themed necklace that I created this past year, featuring a Balloon Box beaded bead and two smaller Double Bubble Jacks beaded beads:
Finally, I made earrings out of the extra Pagoda Charms that I made for my Ice Queen Necklace. I've also made a few new Pagoda Charm earrings that I haven't had the chance to photograph, and I think I'll bring the materials to make more at the show if anyone is interested in a demonstration. 
The knit-one-one holiday craft sale is on Saturday, December 11, from 10 AM to 4 PM at the knit-one-one studio in Berkeley, CA. Check out the knit-one-one blog for more information about all the artists participating in this show. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Origami Interlude: Masu Boxes

In preparation for the knit-one-one holiday craft sale this weekend, I took stock of all of my craft sale odds and ends and found that I was low on jewelry gift boxes. As an origami nut, I felt that I should really start folding my own gift boxes instead of purchasing them. I originally envisioned folding Tokomo Fusé's hexagonal modular Fabulous Origami Boxes, but as pretty as these boxes are, they're a little too time-consuming to piece together and not always sturdy enough to withstand the hustle and bustle of a busy shopping bag. So I turned instead to the classic Masu box:
The bottoms of these boxes are folded out of cardstock using the traditional pattern, while I used a variety of decorative washi, foil, and scrapbooking papers for the tops. After some tinkering and testing, I reinforced both parts of the boxes with an additional layer of cardstock for extra stability. 
These boxes are so quick and easy to make. Before I knew it, I was completely hooked.
Did I mention that I really like to collect washi
Yep, I'm definitely hooked...
Every purchase from my booth at the craft show this weekend will be packaged up in one of these spiffy gift boxes. The show is on Saturday, December 11, from 10 AM to 4 PM at the knit-one-one studio in Berkeley, CA. Check out the knit-one-one blog for more information. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ice Queen Challenge Addendum

I didn't realize it at the time, likely because I hadn't been there in December in 20 years, but after a trip to Disneyland this past weekend, I think I was channeling Sleeping Beauty's castle in my Ice Queen necklace:
Then again, my necklace has more blue and a little less purple. What do you think?

In the meantime, the Bead Mavens have announced their next challenge, Vernal Visions, with a focus on the theme of the Spring Equinox. The entry rules have been modified compared to the previous challenge, so be sure to check out the details on the Bead Mavens Website.

I'd like to give a big thanks to all the sponsors of the Ice Queen Challenge. A special shout-out goes to Linda of BeadsForever for the choice of an item from her shop. I chose this dichroic cab called Symphony and it's as gorgeous in person as it is in the photo:
Another big shout-out goes to Tradewinds StudiosIkandiclayMandarinMoonKelly Angeley, NEDbeads, and Artbeads for their generous contributions to this challenge, as well as Cynthia Newcomer Daniel and Mikki Ferrugiaro for gift certificates to their shops. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Berries Set

I've added two new pieces to my Artfire and Etsy shops. This pendant is woven in my Bubble Box beaded bead design, and features gorgeous green freshwater pearls and metallic Japanese seed beads:
I used the same materials to create matching earrings, in my Double Bubble Jacks design:
Both of these pieces will be available for sale this weekend at the knit-one-one holiday craft sale on Saturday, December 11, from 10 AM to 4 PM at the knit-one-one studio in Berkeley, CA. Check out the knit-one-one blog for more information about all the artists participating in this show. I'd love to see you there!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Margie and Me Color Challenge - Mosaic of Color, #129

I just finished my second challenge piece in as many weeks. Marcie Abney puts on a color challenge every few weeks based on color palettes from the color maven Margie Deeb. The latest palette is #129 from Margie's book The Beader's Color Palette, and is based on the gorgeous mosaics from Islamic architecture. 

The light blues in this palette match some peanut-shaped Japanese seed beads, which I've been tinkering with in beaded beads for a little while. While my Pagoda charms include these little peanut beads as accent beads, I wanted to make a beaded bead that featured these peanuts prominently. They're a bit tricky to design around, and I must have come up with a dozen prototypes, but after drawing some inspiration from Gwen's Mini Ionic Polyhedra I finally settled on a design that I'm satisfied with. They're solid and sturdy but lack a round core bead, so they're easy to string together. I incorporated five of these peanut beaded beads into this bracelet:
I really like how the colors of the peanut beads mix with matte AB cobalt and peach-colored seed beads. 
Thanks to Marcie for putting on this fun color challenge! Check out her challenge piece and the other participants' work on her blog

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Second Place!

My Ice Queen Necklace took second place in the Bead Mavens Ice Queen Challenge!

I'm still pleasantly surprised but very excited to have placed in this challenge, given the spectacular collection of gorgeous entries by many talented bead artists from around the world. Congrats to Zoya Gutina for the well-deserved first place finish, and thanks to the Bead Mavens for all their hard work in putting on this fun challenge!

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.
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