Monday, February 21, 2011

Stash Busting

Every now and then, you need to take a hard look at your stash and try to use up some of the beads that have been hanging around for a while, or might be lonely leftovers from a larger, long-ago completed project. That’s what I did this weekend. I tried to make pretty, unique projects without buying anything new. Here are my results:

Lampworked glass and sterling silver beads

Charm necklace with labradorite briolette, Czech glass, and silver

Quartz, fluorite, and India glass

Is it spring yet?
Working with what you have can be challenging, but it can be freeing as well. I love these bead combinations, but I never would have "planned" these designs in advance. What do you think?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Artbeads Winter Enchantment Project

My backyard in January
For this season's blogger project, we were asked to design jewelry based on winter. Here in Wisconsin, winter is a long season. Our first cold snap comes in October and we're usually not seeing daffodils until late April. The season is long, but it isn't bleak. We have wonderful white snow, beautiful bare brown branches, and brilliant blue skies peeking through whenever we can. For this project, I wanted to explore working with some new-to-me materials. While I often use glass beads in my designs, I haven't worked with artisan-made lampworked beads before.  I was immediately drawn to these lampworked art beads when I started planning my winter-white necklace. Brass accents and just a hint of blue completed the palette, and I had this design together in no time.

Winter White necklace


Beaded links connected by large jump rings
This necklace and earrings set came together very nicely. My original intention was to string the necklace, but I wanted the lampworked beads to be visible from all sides. Making beaded links instead set the beads off. I rummaged through my supplies for brass jump rings, thinking 5 or 6 mm would be the perfect size. I only found these super-sized rings, though, so I decided to try it out. I like the look even better. It's more open and airy. 

Do you design by purpose, by "happy accident," or a little of each?

Disclaimer: The lampworked beads, brass beadcaps, and brass findings  used in this project were provided to me free of charge by Artbeads. My review is my opinion and I have not been paid for my endorsement.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Be My Valentine

Here is a quick and easy Valentine's Day card project for you. Remember when I made the cute felted sweater pillow? I wasn't sure what to do with the scraps, so I just cut them into random heart shapes. A few days later, I had this idea. If you don't have a felted sweater handy, just use felt from the fabric store.

Sew simple!