Sunday, April 26, 2009

Keeping Busy

It seems, these days, that I'm always busy getting ready for one event or another in Beaded Extravagance World. First on my 'hot list' for this year was to get my FireMountain Gems piece finished. Done. Next is the Duveneck Memorial Art Show on May 11th. Almost done. After that, I have a commission piece to finish, then next years Beading For A Cure auction piece to do and then another Big Project I will disclose after a meeting with a potential customer this coming Tuesday evening. So, for the next 2 months, it looks like I'll be one very busy little beader! But, here's a peak at what's been keeping me busy these last couple of weeks since I finished The Martian Queen's Necklace...
As I said before, I've been busy building my inventory for the Duveneck Memorial Art show that will be 2 weeks from today. This last week I concentrated on earrings and have quite a stash. The following pictures are a sampling of a few of my favorites.

I started on pins yesterday. Last year, at the Hyde Park Square Art Show, one of my best sellers were an experiment with polymer clay cabs that I made of some very colorful choices. I made them on a whim and my first sale was one of these pins before the show even started! So, I decided to make more of them this year. I call them my Tropical Candy Pins because of the colors that I use. I stick to the same color pallet but change the designs. I don't draw any of the designs- these pieces are as free form as I get! I just bead as the beads and colors direct me. They are fun and easy to make and hopefully they'll be good sellers this year too!

Last week Saturday, I had the opportunity to have a few of my pieces juried for this year's Hyde Park Square Art Show. It's a big deal here in Cincinnati and one of the best art shows to get into. Last year was my first year getting into it- beginners' luck some would say... But hopefully I will get into it again this year because it draws a LOT of traffic. So please keep your fingers crossed. I took Martian Queen's Necklace, Mars & Her Stars bracelet and Tigereye & Turquoise Necklace & Bracelet set to the jury. I think the judge was suitably impressed....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It Is Finished!

Well, it is finally done! The Martian Queen's Necklace has finally been completed, the photographs have been taken and burned to a disk, the entry forms have been filled out and all was mailed to One Fire Mountain Way in Grants Pass, Oregon. And though I am relieved that this project has come to an end, I am sad not to be working on it everyday, but that's how things go with all my beading projects... now I can sit back and admire all my hard work and sigh a great sigh of relief that I got everything sent of by the deadline!!

So, what did I accomplish this last week? Here goes...
I spent the first couple of days last week working on edging. I started off with edging the cutouts- I wanted to get the painful stuff out of the way first. Edging cutouts is like doing yoga... you have to get very creative about where you place your hands, where your needle is going into the fabric and where it's coming out etc. I used a brick stitch edging and worked with the size 15 Rocailles in the Gold Luster and Dark Copper. The Gold Luster I used for the cutouts and the neckline of the collar. The Dark Copper I used for the outside of the collar.

I then sewed the two connector pieces I had made the previous week to the ends of the necklace and began working on the pieces for the back of the necklace. I wanted to make the whole piece eye catching including the back so that if the wearer chose to wear her hair up, the back would be almost as beautiful as the front. I initially made two netted tubes using Antiqued Brass 3mm beads, my size 15 Gold Luster Rocailles and the Copper Delicas and made 2 netted tubes. I changed these later to one tube after finally making up my mind on a simple wire hook and eye closure.

Then came the part in the process that I believe was most time consuming considering the amount of real estate I had to cover... The Fringe. I love fringes but you spend so much time maneuvering your thread so that it doesn't get tangled up in what you've already completed that it takes so long to complete! It also didn't help that I kept coming up with more ideas for a fuller looking fringe! So to begin with, I sewed another layer of edging in brick stitch with the Copper Delicas and the 2mm Brown Goldstone Round beads. Then I start in the center and worked my way to the right and began with the main fringes using all the beads I had used in the main part of the necklace, some Dark Copper 2 cut Bugle Beads and Brass Fancy Drops.

I decided that what I had just completed wasn't full enough, so I added another layer of fringes.

Once that was completed I went through yet again and added the size 15 Gold Luster Rocailles to the Copper Delicas in Picot stitch.

This is where I decided to changed the netted tubes form two to one and so I spent some time pulling out all my work on them and and starting over to make one tube. I added a length of chain and some beautiful bead caps and threaded 20 awg wire through them formed a hook and attached that assembly to the necklace with jump rings. I also added a dangle of beads and my last fancy drop to the chain. That completed the entire necklace!

Then I had to wait for a sunny day to take the final pictures for the FMG contest. That day dawned yesterday. I used my light box and set it so that the sun shone through the side. My shadows were very subtle and all in all, I am very pleased with the outcome of my pictures!

Thank you so much for following me through this process. Your comments have been welcome and very encouraging. I love beading and this has been, by far, the biggest project that I've undertaken to date. I spent about 47 hours in the past three weeks working on it and I'm very pleased with the outcome. All the components for this necklace were purchased from FireMountain Gems with the exception of the Brass Flower Stamping, the Bead Caps, the Antique Brass 3mm Round beads and the Brass chain- these I purchased from Accessories Susan. Please check out her store at : She's got some really great stuff!

Next on the list.... pad my inventory for the Duveneck Show on May 10th

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Final Stretch!!

Well, it's here! The final 5 days that I have left to finish The Martian Queens' Necklace. I'm so not done! But, before we get into what I have accomplished, I have an announcement to make!

For the past week or two, some very talented bead weaving ladies have been very busy writing up a proposal for our very own 1000Markets Market! We submitted the proposal to the Powers That Be at 1000Markets and it was accepted! We are very excited about this new venture that we hope will attract many more bead weaving enthusiasts- both buyers and sellers. If by chance, you have a store in 1000Markets and are a bead weaver and wish to join this market, please contact Dini

The market is not up and running yet, so we'll take your information and get back to you as soon as possible.

OK, so back to the thing that has occupied 34 hours of my time in recent weeks. This week I spent quite a bit of time just finishing the rounds on the left side of the necklace, matching up what I did on the right side. When I finished the rounds I decided to add two of the gold pearls to the ends of the necklace to help taper it off.

I love the way the sun was making all those flecks of gold sparkle in the Brown Goldstone Cabs! Anyway, I then set to bezeling the pearls and two 2mm round Brown Goldstone beads and added in the Bronze Delica's to fill in the spaces. After that I trimmed off the remaining Pellon.

When that was complete, I set to working on cutting out the cutouts. I love the idea of cutouts, but they are a pain! If you get over enthusiastic (like I did on one cutout) you may end up cutting a stitch by accident and spend time mending your bead work! Be patient with yourself! I learned the hard way... So, after that was completed it was time to glue the entire piece to a sheet of Nutmeg Ultrasuede. I use E6000 and spread it all across the back of the piece and set it carefully into place. I put one of my big FMG catalogs on top of it and waited for it to cure.

While that was curing I worked on bezeling two cabs I had glued to Pellon. These cabs will be the transition links between the main body of the necklace and the "chain" part of the necklace.

Then I glued those two links to the Nutmeg Ultrasuede as well and waited for them to cure. When curing was complete, I carefully cut the excess Ultrasuede away and now I am ready to begin edging. And that's where I am at now! Tune in next weekend for the conclusion of this creative endeavor! Thank you!