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!
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