Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trio of Goddesses

I nearly forgot that today was Thursday, meaning, I nearly forgot to post! Oops!

Today's From the Vault is a trio of Goddesses that I made based on a pattern that was published in Beadwork or Bead and Button a few years back. The form is Crayola Model Magic air drying clay over a wire. They are each around 2.5" tall

I started with a 2-bead wide ladder stitch base around the waist and went from there. This was a great exercise in increases and decreases in brick stitch. Some places requred some additional "tacking" of the beadwork into the Model Magic to make the beadwork lay flat.

First is the Fire Goddess. I went on a flame kick a while back and just loved making simple three colored flames on a black background.

Next up is the Water Goddess. She is made of rain, and clouds, and a pond near her feet.

Finally is the Earth Goddess. She is made of sun and planets and stars.

I think I will make more of these in the future, I actually found some forms whilst choosing beads for my on-road adventure.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blue Skies, Smiling at me

Nothing but blue skies, is all I see...

I found the focal for this piece in the Sweet Creek near Metaline Falls, WA. It was just shiney and it sparkled and, to be honest, I though it was a gold nugget. Our resident gold panning expert said it might have some gold flake, but is definitely not solid.

This is the falls where I found this pebble. Isn't it gorgeous? This is the Lower Falls

and the upper falls...

This is actually pretty close to the spot where I actually picked up the pebble. It is right at the top of the top falls

I wrapped the stone in some sky blue matte Delicas (from Beyond Beads North in Spokane, I'm only in there twice a year, but they always remember me!)

The strap is the same matte light blue Delicas, along with gold lined clear Delicas in flat peyote stitch. I linked the sections with gold craft wire, a few giant seed beads (that came with a bead loom). Mailled a few mobius balls, added a handmade clasp and called it lovely.

Where is the most beautiful/unusual place you've found a focal?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Memories from College...

On today's Thursday-From the Vault, I am showing what remains of my collegiate side-business. In those days I was a telephone surveyor, not in the engineering surveying sense-in the I-called-you-at-dinnertime-and-asked-you-questions sense. My shpeal for one particular survey went..."Hi this is Jamie Brown*. I'm calling from Telenation. We're a national consumer research company and today we're doing a survey about soft drinks or soda pop..." Generally people would hang up about halfway through the last sentence. *Interesting tidbit-Jamie Brown was the alias I used on the phones, and I had to register it with the management there. It was a name that I made up on my first turn on the phones. I found out during my time there that we actually employed a Jamie Green and a Jamie Black.

Anywho, I used the money from my job to pay my rent. Pretty much every penny went towrd rent or books, with little to none left to eat/buy cigarettes. Seriously, I lived on a $0.25 granola bar, a $0.49 32-oz soda,and approximately 4 cigarettes a day for a while. I suplimented my income by swapping hemp necklaces and/or beaded people for $5 or a pack of Camel Lights ($2.23 at the time). I loved my life :)

I know you're getting bored with my reminiscing by now, so onto the beadwork!

These are all I have left of my beaded people. L-R are Lisa Simpson, Guy in stripes, Tuxedo man, and guy with globe on his shirt. Back in the day I had also made Knight, Bride, Blue Dreadlock Girl, Army Girl, and a couple Tie-Dye girls/guys. These were suck instant gratification, and if I was feeling relly crafty, I would make my friends.

This is David Bowie. He was the most complicated beaded thing I made in the first several years of my beading existance. There used to be a "column" in Beadwork called Bead Boy, and the challenge in one issue was "Bead an Alien". Ziggy Stardust seemed to fit the bill. I was (and am still) mildly obsessed with David Bowie. My screen name (Marsspyder) comes from the Spiders From Mars, and Spyder Jewels is a derivative of that. Beaded Bowie's face doesn't look like real Bowie, but I'm still incredibly proud of him. Also, you, blog-world, are the first people to ever see him, apart from my husband, who saw me taking the pictures of him.

This is the Ziggy outfit that BeadBowie's was modeled after. There is a better photo in the album's liner notes, but I don't have it with me, and can't find it online. I think I did a fair job? What do you think?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's not easy being green...

I bought the jet rivolis with the plan to bead them alongside kelly green seed beads. Mission accomplished! This was also my rationale for not buying green rivolis :)

This sweet little necklace consists of three jet rivolis, bezeled in kelly green and spring green Delicas, size 15 Japanese seed beads, and accented by black 3mm Swarovski crystals.

The necklace is done n herringbone stitch with the same beads as bezels. I've heard this called seed stitch. Perhaps with a greater difference in bead sizes, it would be more apparent. Mental note, try this with different sizes.

I added a few green glass rounds, and a beaded toggle clasp. Methinks I need to make the toggle bar a bit bigger, but other than that, I'm quite pleased with it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I have got to get a better camera...

The old cell phone shapshots are just not going to work if I plan to continue blogging :-/

I finihsed these two bracelets this week.

This one started as a project for my poor stir-crazy husband. Our project hasn't kicked off full swing, so he is basically trapped in our hotel room all day while I'm at work. He despises/fears driving in cities, so he is essentially imprisoned, poor guy. I tried to help him out and teach him peyote stitch, so as to have something to do, but he somehow un-strung his needle after two beads and got frustrated. He did help though :)

Finished with a wooden bead/Swarovski crystal double toggle. I like the feeling of this cuff, smooth and simple.

This one was an exercise in learning a new stitch, the filled net stitch from beAd Infinitum. This stitch has great movement, without being floppy.

I didn't have enough crystals to do a bangle, so added a bezeled jet rivoli and a magnetic clasp.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quick and easy gift for Mom

Mother's Day is coming up, and Thursday came too quickly, so nothing from the vault today.

I initially intended to make my mother-in-law a French beaded rose, but I don't have my bead spinner with me and the rose I chose to model the beaded flower after has three colors in its petals, so while the bead spinner would have helped the inner petals, the outers are going to take a while, and I just haven't got the time!

I went to my favorite need-a-gift-quick-for-a-wonderful-woman gift. This works well for grandmothers, aunts, mothers, mother-in-laws, secretaries, etc...

I give you flower pens!

Super simple to make, and they look great.

You will need:
Spray of flowers (or more than one)
when picking out the spray, remember that each stalk will become a pen, so if your spray has some roughage therein, you are going to have some leafy pens.

Floral tape
1/2" Ribbon
E6000 Glue or Goop Glue-Make sure your glue will work to permanently adhere ribbon to things
Bic Pens (I like Bic because they always write, and they last forever, you can use whatever you like, excepting felt tips-see note about pen caps further down)
Vase and vase filler -OR- terra cotta pot, floral half sphere (to fit the pot), and moss
Wire cutters-DON'T USE YOUR GOOD BEADING NIPPERS! THE WIRE IN THE SPRAY IS THICK AND CAN DAMAGE THEM. Use something you would cut a coat hanger wire with.

Nip all the flowers off your spray, leaving approximately 3" of stem

Using the floral tape, wrap the stem and pen together in a spiral down to the top of the point.

Next, apply a dab of glue where you ended the tape, and wrap up the pen, using the ribbon, making sure to cover the floral tape completely.(The floral tape is stcky and waxy and horrible, noone wants to write with a sticky pen.) Trim the ribbon to a point to prevent fraying, then secure with another dab of glue. I learned the hard way not to glue, then trim.

*Note-your pen caps may no longer fit. If that is the case and using the vase/filler, no biggie. If you are using the foam in a pot, you might try securing the caps in the foam and sitting your pens in that.

Repeat until you run out of flowers or pens, or, if you've planned well, both!

Allow your flower pens to dry for a few hours.

While you wait, you can decorate your vessel, paint your pot, add a pretty ribbon, etc. You then add your vase filler. If using a pot, secure your foam to the bottom of the pot with glue, hot glue, or whatever will keep it in there.

Finally, arrange your flowers in the vase/pot, add moss if you deem it necessary, and gift!

Sometimes, people need you to tell them that it is a pot full of pens. Example-My grandma's lives on her porch, which is great if you need a pen on the porch...