Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And the winner is...

I printed out the comments...

I balled them up...

Shook them around in my hands and the first one to fall out was...

Kelly of Beadativity !!
Kell, I think I still have your address, but I will ask you to send it to me again just in case...

I did the drawing yesterday, but had several false starts, so I'll be working on it again tonight with a new plan :)

Kristen of My Bead Journey was the first place runner up, and the only other entrant, so if she would like to send me her address, I would like to send her something too :)

Thanks girls and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Chance-Ornament Giveaway!

The prize-a covered ornament, made by me, shipped to you :)

You can enter by:

Commenting on this post (or this post) with the answers to the following questions
1. What is your name (email address)
2. What is your favorite color
3. What is the average wing speed velocity of an unladen swallow? **
4. Which is your favorite ornament that has been posted on this blog thus far? I ask this so I know where to begin. *Note if number 13 is your favorite, it cannot not be replicated at this time-I haven't got enough flowers in NJ to do another one :( I have more in PA, but I wont be there until next weekend...

Bonus entries:
1. Following my blog-and leave a comment stating you are
2. Post about my giveaway on your social media of choice-leave a comment linking
3. The name of the movie in number 3 above and the proper response. Post this n a separate comment please :)

There will be a super quick entry process in order to get the ornament to you by Christmas, so the winner will be chosen Monday night. Perhaps I should have done this sooner :) The winner will be announced here on the blog, and an email will be sent to the email address provided above. Good luck!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Number 13 and a giveaway!

First thing's first-Number 13? What happened to Number 12?

Well, seeing as how number 13 is considered unlucky by some, I didn't want to have number 13 be the giveaway ornament! Ha!

Number 12 will be the ornament given away, but more on that later...

Number 13-Normally I hate to repeat a pattern twice in a holiday season, but since I didn't get a photo of number 7, and I really liked it, I made number 13 in the same pattern.

This ornament started as a silver Walmart ball, which I covered in a netting of 1.5mm cubelings with teal Delicas.

I then started at the top of the netting and added blue acrylic flowers in three sizes, green acrylic leaves, 3mm teal Swarovski 3mm crystals, and a few Delicas.

I added these accents in a swath around the ornament, following the netting lines.

My inspriration was a plant called Mile-a-Minute, which I think is a wild variety of morning glory. It grows on a vine, and really does seem to grow a mile per minute. It is a weed on our wetlands, because it creeps up any stationary object with little thorny stickers and chokes out anything living in its path to the sun. As morbid as it is, I think its a very pretty plant, and when you see a huge patch of it creeping over a hill in the sun...ahh pretty :)

Now, for the giveaway.

The prize-a covered ornament, made by me, shipped to you :)

You can enter by:

Commenting on this blog with the answers to the following questions
1. What is your name (email address)
2. What is your favorite color
3. What is the average wing speed velocity of an unladen swallow? **
4. Which is your favorite ornament that has been posted on this blog thus far? I ask this so I know where to begin. *Note if number 13 is your favorite, it cannot not be replicated at this time-I haven't got enough flowers in NJ to do another one :( I have more in PA, but I wont be there until next weekend...

Bonus entries:
1. Following my blog-and leave a comment stating you are
2. Post about my giveaway on your social media of choice-leave a comment linking
3. The name of the movie in number 3 above and the proper response. Post this n a separate comment please :)

There will be a super quick entry process in order to get the ornament to you by Christmas, so the winner will be chosen Monday night. Perhaps I should have done this sooner :) The winner will be announced here on the blog, and an email will be sent to the email address provided above. Good luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Number 11

Eleven. Eleven is one of those numbers that people tend to forget about. It is that number between 10 and 12, both of utmost importance. Eleven is the number of toes that some people have. Eleven (as written 11) has a bit of cool, as it appears in binary through decimal numbering systems. Eleven as an age is rather anti-climactic. You aren't a teenager, aren't almost a teen, but you are a bit too old to be considered a kid. You're in 5th/6th grade and its all rather meh, if I recall.

This ornament certainly isn't meh, it's actually the most Christmas-sy of all the ornaments I've done this year, in my opinion.

I used Delicas in an AB semi-matte bluespruce color, matte lima bean colored Delicas, brass colored Japanese 11/0s, and Red Velvet Chinese crystal rounds.

The inspiration for this one came to me over my Thansgiving break. Standing on my in-law's back porch at night. The evergreens were silhouetted against the purple snow sky. I wanted to make Christmas trees, and have them encircle the ornament. I pulled every type of green seed bead I have with me and began working in Russian...um leaf stitch? There is a name for that stitch, but my brain just went *derf* blink blink.

I made the first tree, and it wasn't quite right, nor was the second, then I just got caught up in the moment and accidentally made a leaf...oops :) Then I kept going.

I worked 4 parts in a Russian Leaf style with the Delicas, and used the 11/0s and crystals as "veins"

I then used the Japanese 11/0s and crystals to connect, but separate, the leaves

From there, I worked down the edges of the leaves with a dense vertical netting, ending in a crystal finial.

I finished the whole thing with a few strings of 11/0 and crystal swag. This ornament is unlike alot of my ornaments in that the ornament ball itself can be changed. I think it looks quite nice over matte white, but if someone doesn't like it, it is easily changed.

And just because he looks so cute and innocent in this picture, here is the Cat-Beast. That face doesn't say "I got into the mini marshmallows and sprinkled them all over the hotel room", does it?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Number 10! Woohoo! Officially into the double digits now :)

I am really proud of number ten. I hope, I think, I know that when this baby goes on someone's tree, it is going to reflect some MONSTER light!

I am trying to find patterns that bezel rivolis and end up with a nice flat back so they lay nicely on the ornament. I started this one with a pendant pattern from Smadars Treasure I was looking for ways to use the new long magatama beads and this pattern seemed perfect. I got the front of the pendant finished, but found that once the back half was finished, it was a bit too bulky. Off the back came, resulting in what you see below

I used 14mm rivolis in AB olivine, Japanese 11/0s in silverlined green and purple transparent, Japanese 15/0s in dark silver/light gunmetal, dark amethyst 3mm Swarovski bicones, AB olivine 4mm Swarovski bicones, 8/0 Japanese seed beads in black and silver, and long magatamas in a deep forest green

This is a startlingly easy pattern, with breathtaking results. I highly recommend a visit to her shop . It is difficult to determine which way the magatamas should be picked up though. Nothing to do with the pattern, they are just a pain in the hiney. My mantra became boat 8 hoof 11 11 boat 8 hoof 11 11...

I adapted the pattern to make a collar for the ornament, then started working in netting down to a point where I could attach the medallions. I then made a bottom netted cap and connected with 11/0s, 8/0s, 3mm crystals and 4 mm crystals.

I got it all done and ready to photograph when this happened! DOH! I think I trimmed a thread that wasn't ready to be trimmed yet, as in wasn't woven in. Ah well, I get to play with this beauty for a little while longer before it goes into the "to gift" pile.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And her shoes were Number Nine (and loot!!)

Number nine was created using mainly loot from my spree-it consists of 3 ladder stitched strings of bugle beads in a weird AB matte translucent amber, lots and lots of strings of Czech 11/0s in a red and purple blend

The ladders end in finials made using the Czech 11/0s and red velvet crystal rounds. In certain lights the colors on this ornament are gorgeous and work really well together. In other lights, not so much. I think the cover would work well on a larger ornament, but, sadly, I don't have any larger ones, and don't plan to buy any. My mother may have a few stashed in her attic so I'll have to check when I get home.

The real star of this post is the loot! I love my husband. And he spoils me rotten :)

I got a bunch of silver feather charms, 2 wolf charms, a strand of red and green mottled crystals and Husbeast picked out 2 turquoise Zuni bears and a greenish shard (not sure what it is-it was in the bargain bin)

I acquired 2 strands of daggers, one a stripey blue and the other is clear with blue, pink and green spots, 2 strands of 3mm Czech fire polished beads, and a strand of half mirrored blue drops

From the seed bead bargain bin, I got a tube of long twisted black bugles, a tube of the bugles used in the ornament above, a tube of Japanese 11/0s in a basic opaque mix, size 6? seeds in black and black and white, and 2 half and half tubes of size 15/0s. Their bargain bin kicks butt. I love picking through for size 15/0s. I only buy 6" tubes of the ones I know I will use regularly (golds, silverlined, silver, black, etc) I get all my other colors from the bargain bin. Really, at 5 tubes for $7, who would blame me...(one of the tubes was $2.00 in this picture)

I really needed to add to my bugle collection. I want to try my Indian Ornament using bugles as opposed to the craft store 10ishes. I also picked up a tube of silver short bugles. I believe these are the ones that are fire polished after being cut, so as to not butcher one's thread

Not too many crystals this time, but I found I was seriously lacking in terms of blues, so I picked up a strand of Dark Indigo and a strand of Montana Blue 4mm bicones. Also at the top are the remains of my hank of Czech 11/0s in reds and purples. Finally a strand of silver 13/0 Charlottes, seeing as how I had none in silver.

Finally, we get to what makes this bead store so amazing-nearly every color, size, shape, etc of seed bead. This makes me such a happy girl! They always have the latest shapes and sizes of things-example, peanut beads-I bought some 2 months before they made it into the What's New section of Beadwork, same for 2.8mm drops, and the new long Magatama Daggers.

Anyway, back to the loot! I got a tube of blue 1.5mm cubes, dark silver 15/0s, a tube of mixed opaques, red metallic 11/0s, bronze(color) 11/0s, brass(color) 11/0s, AB Clear peanut beads, silver drops, red-lined red, and green-lined pale violet 3.4mm drops.

Not picured-packet of split rings and Dec/Jan Beadwork

One day I am accidentally going to move at Beyond Beads North of Spokane. They will find me just sitting and staring at the seed bead colors. That or staring at the wall of Swarovskis. I may be drooling... So much color, so few eyeballs to drink it in.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seven, Eight

Lay them straight...

Let me tell you about the ridiculous travel this past weekend. I booked tickets from Newark NJ to Spokane, WA on Delta. I selected seats and everything was cool. Until I checked us in. My seat selections were changed. Crap. I tried to change them back over the internet. No such luck. I tried upgrading our seats to first class (usually about $200-$300/ea with United, and totally worth it for a 4-5 hour flight) $984 each through Delta. Are you serious? Holy WTFBBQ Batman?! Not that into first class folks. I then asked the agent if it was possible to just get seats together on the plane. No I cannot help you was the response. OK...Just out of curiosity, I looked at prices for first class on the internet. It would have only been $940 ea to purchase them there. Something wasn't right with the customer service agent. I called them back. This agent told me $1650 each to upgrade. Nevermind. She also told me my best bet for changing seats would be to get to the airport early, which I do anyway. Methinks I was getting the runaround. We ended up asking someone on the plane to switch. He was more than happy to trade his middle for my aisle. The second leg of our journey went a bit better-the gate agent was more than happy to move our seats so we were together. The guy next to me was deathly allergic to cats though, which he should have mentioned when we asked "you aren't allergic are you?" But he got moved after the sneezing and gagging and wheezing...and we got to sit next to a Crazy Cat Man. (We've all heard of the Crazy Cat Lady?-this must have been her brother :) )
The fight back was interesting-we were delayed out of Spokane due to copious snow in Salt Lake City. This resulted in our missing our flight out of Salt Lake and having to get a hotel for the night. Thank goodness we brought a real cat box, and not just the butchered (disposable) Fed-Ex box we had used on the way to Spokane. Kitty litter always gets searched at security, FYI. We got a whole row of three seats on our new flight back to NJ though, so everyone was happy.

Marvin the Cat-Beast doesn't mind flying. He was better behaved than most of the kids on the planes...He doesn't care for going through security, as he equates it to being snuggled (a cruel punishment for a cat-beast.) He also learned that his Auntie Rascal is a grumble butt and a mouthful of her long tail fur sticks to one's tongue and is hard to spit out. He spent much of the weekend following her around saying "will you play wif me now"? to which she would reply "grrrrrrrr". He seemed to have fun though, and is all pooped out.

We had an awesome time visiting the Husbeasts family. His dad does the best smoked turkey ever. And his mom made 6 pies. Six! and all sorts of other wonderful delicious whatnot. I also went cross country skiing for the second time ever. Husbeast thought it was great fun watching me fall down. 2.5 miles of skiing. 2 miles of which was a long hill. He also couldn't tell me how to stop or slow down. Apparently the best way to go about it is to just fall down once in a while if you're going too fast.

The good thing about long flights is the amount of time one can spend beading.
The bad thing is that one's camera and phone are in the overhead. You'll just have to take my word for it that I really did make a seventh ornament. But since it's the internet, I guess "pics or it didn't happen" is in effect.

It was a silver ornament, overlayed with cream 1.5mm cubes in a netted pattern with silverlined purple 11/0s at the points. It had a swatch of purple acrylic flowers and green leaves training across in a semi-spiral path. I should make another one... :)

Number 8 was completed during the flight delay in Salt Lake City and on the flight back to Newark.

It has 6 vintage foil backed crystal gems (I don't have any idea as to the maker). They are a pale seafoam color. I'd been wanting to put gems on an ornament for some time now, but as I suspected, they scratch the finish on the ornament. These don't have pointed backs, but they still did a bit of scratching

I bezeled them in transparent green Delicas and dark silver 15/0s (not quite hematite, not quite silver). I also added silver 3.4mm drops to the edges, you know, for zest.

I then beaded a collar with the Delicas and drops and ran stringers to the crystals. My count was off for the top collar, and I ended up with a funny 13th point that I didn't need...My solution-pretend it isn't there and everything will be fine :)

This one could have been the overworked ornament(as seen with the amoeba fringe startng on the bottom), but I reigned it in (and the plane landed). This one doesn't look complicated or time consuming. In truth, it wasn't. It just took a while to bezel the stones.

Remind me to show you the fruits of my Husbeast's Christmas present to me :) Shopping spree at Beyond Beads North in Spokane!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sing a song of sixpence...

A pocket full of spears...

YAY, number six is off the table!

This ornament was a step back, relax, and just follow directions type of ornament. I finished it in like 2 hours. The hardest part was deciding what colors to use.

Yay for peaceful, easy beading.

I used black .25" bugles(6mm or so), light blue matte transparent Delicas, jet 4mm Swarovski bicones, and 6mm light blue Chinese crystal rounds.

I didn't notice the zig-zagginess until I took the photo, but I like it. Its kinda mod.

The pattern is straight out of last year or the year before's December/January Beadwork. The only edit I made was adding the jet crystal in the middle of the columns and substituting the bicone, round, bicone for drops.

It is beaded over a white AB ornament.

Onto number 7!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Number 5 alive!

Gol-LY! I caught hell getting this ornament from its infancy to its current state. I am finished with it. I am not overjoyed with how it turned out, but I am moderately pleased with it. I also stepped outside my comfort zone and used right angle weave extensively on this ornament. I am quite happy I did that.

The inspiration for this ornament came from Bead and Button-(I think) It was either that or Beadwork. There was a collar there-in with right angle weave blocks with strung swag in between. I thought the idea would lend itself nicely to an ornament, and in I dove. I found an 8-pack of white frosted and white opaque ornaments at Walmart, thus opening up the non-silver parts of my stash. I love gold at Christmas!

Anyway, I started out with brass colored Japanese 11/0s and made four long strips of RAW beadwork. Using the directions in the magazine, I built up layers on the strips, with purple lined purple Japanese 11/0s as my final layer. I then made a choker-collar for the ornament ball, with 4 triangular pendants and attached the strips.

I then began beading the swag sections with the brass 11/0s and Purple Velvet 3mm Swarovskis. Unlike the new red velvet crystals, these aren't opaque and dont have that depth. I would say they are more Grape Jolly Rancher.

Then I realized I was running out of the brass 11/0s DOH!

I thought I could I make it work by adding danglies of brass 11/0s, 3mm and 4mm Swarovskis. Of course, they wouldn't dangle. My fringe endeavors could really use a lesson from Forrest Gump in how to dangle properly.

At that point, I gave up. I wrangled them around the base of the ball with the last of my brass beads. (seriously-I have like 6 left)

I then photographed it and upon inspection on a larger screen this morning-all the pic were blurry.

I give up.

At least I get to move on to a new ornament this evening. Preferrably one that will go smoothly. :)

and...And...AND I won Mortira's Christmas bead giveaway over at Inspirational Beading! Score! I'm already thinking of the ornament I want to make!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Number four is upon us. This is progress. This means that I have covered enough ornaments for the inlaws and have begun making them for friends :)

This one started out as another vague idea. I wanted to make lots and lots of snowflakes to cover an ornament. I wanted each one to be unique! I wanted the ornament to be a marvel of beadwork!! It's not. But it's pretty anyway.

I ended up with 8 snowflakes, in varying sizes, and shades of blue. I then began netting them onto the ornament. For the 10 rows, everthing was nice and regular, but as the snowflakes got bigger and more numberous, the regularity went out the window and I ended up with some free-form netting going on. This was not entirely unpleasant.

After a while I just started adding snowflakes and strings of net somewhat willy-nilly.

I think it helps. Snowflakes may be regular, but they fall in funny little heaps and cover things and exaggerate indentations in the ground or other surface. Example, my car last year. ( XP Blech I hate snow...)

Well, except on ornaments...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winston Beauregard Pennyfeather the Third

Totally just made that name up, but it sounds good with "the Third", and really, that's what matters.

This ornament grew out of an idea, and a picture, and a short stroke of genius. I've seen Navajo-style beaded earrings for years, but never really paid much attention to them. I don't wear that style of dangly-ness. However, my husbeast's great grandfather was a Native American (Sioux) and his brother-in-law is a member of the Spokane Tribe. My great grandmother was supposedly Cherokee, but I can't find anything in the Dawes Rolls to confirm or deny this. She was adopted by white people as far as I know.

Also, I hate fringe. You actually may have noticed that very few of my ornaments sport fringe. That's pretty much because I hate making it. It always ends up too stiff and pokes out, like the hair on those crimp and style Cabbage Patch Kids from the '80s, you know, the ones with yarn-with-a-core-of-wire hair?

Anyway, off my fringe topic, and back to the task at hand. I had a very specific pallette in mind. I wanted to use the basic colors of opaque seed beads, Light Blue, Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, and White. I have two of these colors in my travel bead box (guess which two :) ) I decided, no problen, Craft Store Bulk Bag Size 10-ish Beads will do, and they had a mixed baggie of just the colors I needed. I usually only use craft store beads for French beaded flowers (look, I'm not using 3 tubes of beads that cost $8-9/each when a baggie of craft store beads at a cost of $.99/ea will suit-jewelry is a different story).

Long story short, 98% of those beads should have been culled. Dark red was the absolute worst. Those beads were significantly smaller than all their counterparts-I would say close to size 11. The orange were the opposite. The others were fat, thin, tall, short, oblong, etc. What a nightmare.

I muscled through, and in the end, I am really. really happy with the look of this one. I've never seen another ornament like it, ever.

I used the craft store size 10-ish beads, silver jump rings, and little silver colored feather charms. On a positive, I think my total materials cost for this ornament was like $2.00.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is it Thursday already?

Just kidding-it's been a LOOOOONNNNNG time since I posted a Thursday-From the vault, but I've been a good beadblogger this week, so here is another ornament (From the Vault)

First-Allow me to apologise for the backdrop. I was staying in a tiny hotel at the time and the only place with decent light was the bathroom :/

I saw an ornament with this type of covering hanging in Beyond Beads North in Spokane, and knew I had to make one. I eventually bought the book with this pattern, but this one was from memory. It uses silverlined bugles, silverlined green bugles, silver-lined purple Japanese 11/0s, silverlined clear Japanese 11/0s and 4 10mm Swarovski cube crystals. This one was gifted to my other favorite bead store-Beadwildered Women in Nyack, NY. It hung in the window of their old location. What was funny, was that I didn't know all their Christmas Decor was purple and green. Kinda cool right?

Anyway, there may be a repeat of this pattern this year; not yet, but it's on the list :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who does Number Two work for?

The second ornament of 2010 is complete-I'm cranking them out this year!

This one is also formed over a silver ball ornament-note to others-the $2.50 box of 12 ornaments from Walmart contains some funky ornaments-they all have noticeable dents or funny marks on them. I think the first one I used was probably the least weird, so I didn't think to exchange them, and seeing as how my ornament covers aren't easily removable...I'll have to live with them. I have never seen dented glass ornaments before-so weird...

Anyway, I had the idea to use AB clear Japanese glass drops and make them look like little drops of water. In reality, the drops turned into little "nubbies" which I find to be quite awesome.

The main beadwork is comprised of wine-colored Japanese 11/0s that decided to pop their heads out of my stash. I honestly don't remember buying them, but I know where they came from. You find the darndest things when making ornaments. I also added some 3mm AB Crystal Swarovski bicones at the top and bottom. This pattern was basically a netted cover with an increase each round, then a decrease each round on the bottom half. This is a good photo showing how the nubbies poke out.

I kept with the theme of doing simple hangers again. This one got an 18g silver craft wire hanger with 2 silver spacers and a dusty wine bead in the middle. I was surprised to find that I actually had a bead that went with the wine-colored seed beads. I think the only beads on this ornament I remember buying are the drops. I don't even remember buying the crystals...I guess an appropriate name for this one would be something like Forgotten Wine

I'm really pretty stoked about ornaments this year. That's 2 down, and I only started making them Sunday.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ornament Time is upon us!!

I love ornament time. I truly, truly LOVE ornament time!

It is a time of year when gaudy is ok, too many crystals are no biggie, weird colors are out in full force, and who cares if you have nothing to match them!

Ornament time even trumps hand piecing a Hallowe'en quilt. (I quilted a block, on that one from a while ago, by the way)

I get to clean out weird beads from my stash whose original purpose has been long forgotten. I get to use those gorgeous electric green drops! And, above all, I get to see things I've made make people happy without the where-am-I-going-to-wear-these-giant-parrot-earrings-face (true story-and to a luau ended up being the answer)

I want to give ornaments to everyone I know, every year, but in the end, the inlaws usually get theirs first, then I run out of time :( I hope to change that this year though, (like every year :) )

So with no further ado, I present the first ornament of 2010.

This is Red Star.

Red star started his life as a simple silver ball from Wal-Mart. He would have started his life as a clear ball, but I couldn't find any that weren't ginormous, so he is silver. He was adorned with silver-lined ruby-red Czech size 11/0s, matte silver Japanese 15/0s, and Dark Siam 3mm Swarovskis.

The star pattern evolved from a pattern in this month's Bead and Button (crystal star pendant). The pendant they showed had 8 points, was 2 sided, and had a rivoli in the center. I thought the 8 point star was too big for covering my ornament, so I did some alterations. After much fuss and cutting up, I came up with the new 5-point star. It seemed a bit floppy and funny-looking, so I added the central stabilization, and a bit of bling. I made a collar out of 15/0s and more Swarovskis, and attached the band of stars below. The whole thing threatened to hop off the ornament, so I secured it below as well.

(What Spyderjewels blog would be complete without a really blurry photo?) Also, I made a hanging loop for this ornament. I used 18g craft wire, 2 silver spacers, and a red bead who may or may not be some sort of semi-precious glass.

All in all, I'm happy with my little red star. And, hopefully, he'll have lots of new friends in the coming weeks