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

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary

One year (and 2 days ago) I married the man who has got to be the most wonderful husbeast ever :) That's right, we were married on Hallowe'en.

Our wedding party had to be coaxed from mountains, forests, fire, the sea, the moon, well everywhere really. Lucky for me, fae-folk are bribable!

I went a little wild with the mod podge-and spider rings. They made their way into my centerpieces, table decorations, my grandma's hair, onto fingers, everywhere. I even found two in my hair this year on Halloween.

This is the guest book that I made from a clearance rack Lisa Frank journal, a paper towel, craft foam, gold leaf, purple paint and copious mod podge-here's the tutorial

I did most of the decorations myself, which was quite insane. I thought I had overdone it on the glittered whatnot, but I guess not, as I haven't a single skull left, and they were all the rage at Target and other stores this year. These guys were painted or mod podged and glittered. Use superfine glitter or else they end up looking like Fred in the front row-kinda mossy...

Look Cake! My cousin did the cake-if it shows up blue, thats not right, its a really really vibrant purple. We have the top layer in our fridge, but had to leave home before we got to eat our anniversary bite. If it's stil good when we get home, we'll definitely have a piece.

This was what we used to cut the cake on said day-just some ribbon and hot glue, and spiders...

The centerpieces were an adventure-I bought 4-6 stores out of daisies, and eventually had to add in purple ones because I just couldn't find enough white. There were glitter spiders in the arrangement of flowers and leaves(which is a floral foam hemisphere)and under the flowers in the vase with black tulle. Goodwill is an amazing resource for cheap vases-we found 13 that very nearly matched at our local goodwill. A quick run in the dishwasher and we were all set. Didn't get to keep a centerpiece though-I guess thats good :)

Even our invites were coated in spiders and daisies-no glitter though. This was the back of our RSVP postcard

If you've read through all that, I guess you get to see the grand finale-where Mr Spyder and I live happily ever after-with the giant wings of doom

If anyone wants tutorials for anything, let me know. I know they're a little late for this Hallowe'en, but come on, who doesn't need a little year round spooky?