Monday, March 19, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 18

"Finish an unfinished beading project"

Today's challenge offered me a chance to finally complete a piece that had been sitting on my desk staring at me for the last six months.  It was a cute little Swarovski Crystal ring, but the band hadn't been finished.  I pulled out gold seed beads and completed it in less time than I expected.

"Green Crystal Ring"

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 17

"Use a problem bead"

Today's challenge actually HELPED me!!  I have had this gorgeous pressed Czech Glass bead sitting on my desk for about a year now.  I figured I'd try my hand at creating something that sort of went with the swirls in the bead.

I think it turned out well.

"Summer Sky"

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 16

"Make something green."

This was a very fun challenge.  I pulled out some of the most beautiful crystal rondelle beads that I own and made this simple, yet gorgeous, pair of earrings.

"Scottish Coast"

Friday, March 16, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 15

"Make a multi-strand necklace"

This challenge gave me an opportunity to use one of my most underutilized beading tools: my bead stringer.  I took some beautiful beads in various shades of blue and strung them along with a dainty string of clear seed beads.

I call it "Waterfall"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 14

"Take apart unwanted jewelry and reuse the beads"

Today's challenge gave me the inspiration to create something I actually like from a piece that I hated.

I got this necklace for Christmas (No it wasn't a gift.  I picked it out, and when I got home I thought "YUCK!" once I put it on.)  The necklace was beautiful gun metal with metallic pearls and beads.   I hated it though.  I hated the way it hung on my neck, so its home became a jumbled pile on my beading desk.

So today, I disassembled the chaos and created something new and fun.  Whimsical.  Even got a pair of earrings out of the mix as well.

I call it "Beauty from Chaos"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 13

"Make an Inspiration Board"

This challenge was a lot of fun!!!   However, to look at mine, you have to go over to Pinterest.  :)

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 12

"Repair a piece of broken jewelry."

This challenge was easy.  I have had a bracelet that I made for my best friend since way before Halloween.  So today, I decided as my challenge project to get the repair done on it so that she can wear it again.

I love how it turned out.  I completely took it apart and made it stronger, so she won't have the issues with it that she had in the past.

"Fancy Agate and Crystal Bangle"

Monday, March 12, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 11

"Make a beaded gift"

Today's project was one that I had actually been working on for a few days.  My best friend, Tonya Smith, is a brilliant photographer, and she'd made some pictures that I about died for a while back.   She'd asked me to make a piece of jewelry for her.

So she sent me an idea, and I set about making her something in that general style.

I finished it finally!

It's leather cord, crystal, glass pearls and seashells.

"Tonya's Necklace"

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 10

"Use a found object in a jewelry design"

I took this one to heart!  I loaded my little dog up, and we went to the creek near our house.  I had all these grand plans of finding the perfect little river rock that I could make something incredible out of.  Well, after searching and searching, both the dog and I getting drenched, and freezing our rear ends off, I gave up.

Then when I got back to the car, I remembered that we had taken the kids panning a while back, and there was an incredible citrine shard crystal in one of the bags!


I am still learning wirewrapping, but it turned out reasonably pretty, I think.

Citrine Crystal Pendant

Friday, March 9, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 9

"Embellish something with beads"

Last October, I got the brilliant idea to start creating beaded Christmas ornaments.  They are a lot of fun to make and they are simply gorgeous on the tree.  So today I was trying to think of something to embellish, and I thought, "MAKE A CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT!"

This one is very different than my usual design, I used cobalt and clear crystal seed beads, as well as Czech Druks.   I think it turned out very pretty!!

"Winter Night"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 8

"Have a date with a bead friend."

I am so thrilled.  Today, I got a 2 for 1!!   I invited my good friend, cousin and neighbor, J'lene, and her kids over for dinner.  She helped me out immensely when I first got "the supply order from he--" in the other day, it took us THREE HOURS to go through the packing slips!   LOL Anyway, she makes beaded jewelry from time to time, and she and I have a love of the medium in common.

Then I got a very welcome and happy surprise.  My mom called and said that she and my little brother were coming over.  My mom is a very talented beader.  So I was thrilled to learn that not only was I going to have a "date" with one good beading buddy, but TWO!! :)

We had a wonderful dinner, a lot of laughs all around, then spent a while going through all the cool new beads and findings that I'd gotten in the supply order.  My mom hadn't seen any of it, and J'lene hadn't seen any of it out of the plastic baggies.  LOL

So, even though we didn't get any jewelry made, we had a blast, and I have an order now for my cousin Ivy, J'lene's daughter.  She wants a bracelet, so that's one of my projects for tomorrow!

Loved today's challenge!!! :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 7

"Use a different metal in your jewelry."

Anyone who knows my work knows that practically every single piece of jewelry I have created is done in silver.  Silver earrings.  Silver necklaces.  Silver bracelets.  Silver. Silver. Silver.

So today's challenge was truly that.  A challenge!

However, since the last supply order arrived, I have been chomping at the bit to create something with the other findings I ordered.  Antiqued copper, copper, gold, goldtone, antiqued brass, the list goes on and on.  Tonight, I sat down and pulled out some gold earring findings, gold jump rings, gold flowers, gold seed beads, and some cute little Czech glass teardrops that I never thought I'd be able to use, because they were gold finished on one side.

After a little while of beading, taking the design apart, reworking it again, I came up with a cute little pair of earrings that I actually like.  Even if they are in a metal I rarely use!

"Spring Sunrise"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 6

Today's challenge was to "Create your own color palette."

I found my inspiration back in the summer of 2011.  My dear friend and neighbor, Suzanne Smith, had posted a picture of the sunset colors over the neighborhood.   I told her back then (September 2, 2011 to be precise) how much I loved the colors in that picture, and hoped to use similar colors in some of my creations.  Today, I went back to that photograph.  Suzanne captured such gorgeous light that evening, and the darkness of the trees added a depth to the entire scene.   So I figured I'd try something a little different and created a holder for my business cards utilizing the pale blues, pinks and the dark/light shading (from the wire) that my friend captured that fall afternoon.

"Business Card Holder" inspired by Suzanne's photo's colors from September 2011.

Monday, March 5, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 5

"Incorporate chain into a jewelry design"

When I saw this challenge I was so thrilled!  I bought a huge bag of findings and things from Fire Mountain and had found a chain tassel in there!  So this afternoon, after spending some time working on some other projects I had to get completed, I pulled out some pink crystals and some silver-lined seed beads and got to creating.  I really love the way this turned out.

"Pale Sparkle Pendant"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 4

Organize your bead area.

After receiving the massive order of supplies from Fire Mountain last week and subsequently getting sicker than I have been in a very long time, I had not had the time to properly sort and put away everything I had received.   The package was 49 POUNDS of everything from faceted gemstones to findings, from glass beads to Swarovski crystals.  I was like a kid in a candy store when the package arrived.

So today's challenge really kicked me into high gear.   I am one of those people who really can't function unless my beading desk is spotless, and it's still not where I want it to be at all, but I know that I can get it finished tomorrow.  I just have to go get a few more containers and I'll be done.  Worst part, the bookshelves that hold my sorted and organized beads are FULL!  Yes, completely full, so now I am going to have to come up with a new place to put the stuff I still haven't gotten sorted.

Anyway, here's what I got done today!

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 3

Learn a new beading technique.

Day 3's challenge for the 30 Day Bead Challenge was "Learn a new beading technique."   So I went rifling through's blog to see what I could find that would be fun to learn.  I settled on the "simple wire wrapped ring."  I've always wanted to learn how to make wire rings, because they are so cool looking to me, so I drug out my 20 gauge wire and a beautiful aquamarine colored swarovski crystal element I had gotten at Beadiful before Christmas and got to work.  It took a couple of tries, and it's still not perfect, but it's the first time I have ever tried this kind of thing, so I'm proud.

Aquamarine Dream.  Swarovski Crystal and Wire Ring.

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 2

Create something with leftover beads.

That was the challenge for Day 2 of the 30 Day Bead Challenge with  I honestly have been so sick the last few days that I haven't been able to bead much at all, so today (Sunday) I got caught up on all my challenge projects.  :)

I have had some cobalt pressed glass, and some pale green fire polished Czech glass beads sitting on a tiny bead mat on my desk for about 2 months now.  They just sat there and mocked me.   They were leftovers from a couple of pieces I created a while back, and so I figured I would try to make them into something that would be whimsical and fun.

So, I got out a large jump ring, some chain, some headpins and a few seed beads and created "Ocean Waves."  It is a pendant.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

30 Day Bead Challenge - Day 1

After feeling like the bottom of a shoe for the last few days, I finally got upstairs and got back to work putting the insane amounts of beads I just received away.

But I did take a little time to look at Facebook, and when I did, I saw that is doing a "30 Day Bead Challenge" this month because March is National Craft Month.   I thought that this was an incredible idea, and I am really excited to participate!!

Today's challenge is:  Make a Pair of Earrings!  

I went through my magnesite and found these gorgeous 10mm beads and found four 4 mm howlite beads that matched them almost perfectly.  Then I threaded them with beadcaps and these incredible looking "daisy" findings.  I think they turned out very unique and interesting!!

Thank you to the folks at Fusionbeads for this challenge, I love the concept!!