Saturday, 26 February 2011

Welcome to the 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party!

What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?
Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

~ A focal
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads
Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.

Here's what I made!

For those who haven't seen my earlier posts on the bead soup or the pics in the Flickr Bead Soup Party picture pool, you can find a photo of the bead soup I got from my partner Joanna in Poland above. Would you know, she lived in Sweden in the 90's -- and not that far from me actually. Perhaps two hours South of here, in Malmö. Among all the 200+ participants, she was paired up the only one -- as far as I know -- that's a skåning (person from and/or living in the province of Skåne, which includes the city of Malmö).

So what did I do with her beads? Well, they had lots of potential and I ended up making three (!) necklaces from the soup.

The first thing I did was to bead a bezel for the angel focal. You've already seen a sneakpeak of that here. This is the finished version. Pretty soon I also realised I wanted to ruffle the lace so, utilizing the holes in the lace, I strung it on cream-coloured beading wire and added two sizes of chocolate brown seeds as decoration and to keep the lace from being too ruffled.

A rather simple design, but then again I am Scandinavian. At first I wanted to add more of the soup, but I figured I'd only make a mess of it... Instead I saved it for something else:

Already at first glance I couldn't stop thinking of those wavy disc spacers as lily pads. So I dove into my flower bead stash, hoping to find something useful. Unfortunately I couldn't keep to the colour scheme like I wanted. Violet beads had to make due. Again, a very simple design, but that's often how I like them.

But that's still not using much of the bead soup. What happened to the rest? So far there's not even one button!

Ok, first of all: it you don't like this one you're not going to hurt my feelings my saying it. I'm afraid I got this idea in my head and got so pre-occupied with it that I didn't get much time left to actually design the necklace. What was that "special idea"?

Buttons are useful as clasps. In fact, that's what I sent as a clasp to Joanna. But what if they can also be used to hold other types of loops than just the loop part of a clasp? What if I put loops on pendants and attatch them to a necklace with a button in the centre?

I could take it off, change pendants, wear it with or without any type of dangle. Very versatile. I love versatile.

In fact, if making pendants with two different, but equally decorative, sides the pendants wouldn't just be interchangeable but also reversible. This one doesn't have a decorative flipside, but I thought it was nice enough to show a pic of anyway.

Now that was my idea. Not sure whether it was original or not, but I sure liked the possibilities it offered. This isn't the perfect "button and loop pendant necklace" (and that's not the perfect word for it). I think it'd be better to use something thinner like cord or 15/0 seeds instead of 11/0 seed beads for the loops as it's a bit tricky to fit it between the button and the strung beads.

Ok, you want close-ups of the pendants? Here you go:

Sorry about the second pic, it's pretty crummy, but the best I had.

You can perhaps see a slight change in the buttons, compared to the first pic of the soup. (Or maybe not.) The buttons were so pale that I wanted to make the pink show a bit more. To do this, I etched the back of each glass button. Why just the back? That way I get the benefits of etched/matte/frosted glass but still have a shiny surface on the front. I'll blog about that next week so stay tuned if you're interested in hearing more about my theory on halv-etched glass.

And that's all, folks. Hope you enjoyed your visit here at Wild roses and blackberries. Perhaps even found some of the things I made inspiring. Thank you so much for stopping by! And thank you, Joanna (for the lovely bead soup) and Lori (for making the party happen)!

Now come and see what the rest of us made!

1. Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
(founder and hostess of the bead soup blog party)

2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life

3. Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane

4. Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio

5. Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations

6. Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

7. Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things

8. Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe

9. Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto

10. Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11. Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas

12. Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts

13. Marian Hertzog, M's Place

14. Mary McGraw, MK's Musings

15. Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita

16. Deci Worland, Gem Trails

17. Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found

18. Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs

19. Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs

20. Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21. Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs

22. Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim

23. Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu

24. Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads

25. Deb Hunter, Living On Air

26. Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio

27. Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads

28. Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter

29. Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts

30. Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31. Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium

32. Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus

33. Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble

34. Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design

35. Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle

36. Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs

37. Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works

38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights

39. Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire

40. Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41. Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's

42. Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions

43. Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya

44. Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations

45. Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles

46. Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig

47. Amanda Davie, Articulations

48. Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady

49. Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

50. Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

51. Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks

52. Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles

53. Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde

54. Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog

55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning

56. Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings

57. Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio

58. Amy Freeland, Copper Diem

59. Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60. Sandi Lee James, Do Be Do Bead Do

61. Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog

62. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon

63. Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs

64. Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals

65. Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats

66. Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.

67. Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash

68. Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique

69. Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70. Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit

71. Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey

72. Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas

73. Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix

74. Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems

76. Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium

77. Valerie Norton, Hot Art

78. Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden

79. Amy Severino, Amy Beads

80. Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook

81. Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy

82. Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria

83. Janet McDonald, Singing Woods

84. Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs

85. Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries YOU ARE HERE

86. CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka

87. Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae

88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy

89. Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90. Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss

91. Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous

92. Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead

93. Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations

94. Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof

95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio

96. Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box

97. Cindy Dolezal, Cindy Dolezal Designs

98. Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue

99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

101. Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio

102. Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations

103. Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios

104. Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore

105. Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations

106. Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky

107. Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric

108. Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs

109. Grace Danel, Grace Beading

110. Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111. Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe

112. Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo

113. Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs

114. Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me

115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf

116. Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer

117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles

118. Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie

119. Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart

120. Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven

122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings

123. Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass

124. Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks

125. Hazel Ward, All Those Things

126. Brenda Salzano, Salzanos

127. Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee

128. Anna Denisova, Anita-M

129. Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130. Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads

131. Penny Neville, Copper Penny

132. Angela Blasingame, Hopemore

133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog

134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder

135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs

136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies

137. Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art

138. Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.

139. Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140. Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy

141. Heather Pyle, Welcome to My Muse

142. Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings

143. Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts

144. Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense

145. Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique

146. Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads

147. Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul

148. Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me

149. Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions

151. Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T

152. Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals

153. Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area

154. Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs

155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta

156. Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef

157. Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye

158. Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color

159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman

160. Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory

161. Collette Collins, Firefly Myst

162. Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed

163. Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu

164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio

165. Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra

166. Anna Motz, Stunning

167. Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings

168. Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads

169. Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings

170. Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope

171. Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones

172. Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs

173. Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass

174. Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre

176. Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog

177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio

178. Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're

179. Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux

180. Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me

181. Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art

182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog

183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen

184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink

185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin

186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer

187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels

188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry

189. Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190. Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.

191. Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry

192. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle

193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini

194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse

195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between

196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets

197. Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts

198. Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs

199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200. Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend

201. Christine Damm, Stories They Tell

202. Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts

203. Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs

204. Juli Cannon, Julsbeads

205. Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique

206. Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry

207. Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads

208. Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love

209. Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry

210. Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party's sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011. Don't miss it!

PS! I'm not sure how many blogs I will have time to visit tomorrow, but my goal is to visit you all and see what you've accomplished. If not tomorrow, then some other day soon.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


We've had some beautiful sunny, cold days lately and that was exactly what I needed to get the energy to work on my half dozen projects that I must finish in February. I'm solar powered, I guess. Today is a cloudy day. A snow blue sky. Earlier today a few tiny snowflakes danced around in the gentle wind, nothing seemily landing on the ground, now it's more of an actual snow fall. But still very gentle. The pic above is a month old, but that's how it looked around noon today. Only with less snow on the ground and bit of it in the air instead. (Or.. at least it did look like that when I began writing a few hours ago: no I don't know as it's pitch dark outside.)

So with the change of weather I've also changed down a gear. At least momentarily: I'll be working all night probably as night time is my creative period. Especially when it's not sunny. And with the bead soup blog party on Saturday I thought I'd take the opportunity to show a few sneakpeaks. Of my bead soup projects as well as my other WIP.

I had to wait an finish my bead soup necklace to let the anti-fray liquid dry. All I need to do now is trim the edges and add a clasp. You can tell I'm Scandinavian: I'm really keeping it simple and clean, even when using lace.
I spotted some wavy discs and all I could think of was lily pads. So I had to add some flowers. This is the clasp. The rest will have to wait: it's just the dics that's from Joanna's bead soup, but I still see it as part of the blog event so I won't show that until Saturday. Violet was the only colour available for me.
This bracelet/cuff isn't finished. It looks nice the way it is right now as well, but I'm going to do some more work on it. It's a leather cuff laced with cotton cord. I don't have the right tools for it so each hole is made by pushing a needle through it. First a leather needle, which is too weak to push all the way through, then a thicker needle to pierce the hole all the way and after that a third, even thicker, needle to widen each hole. I'm glad that part of this project is over...

What else am I working on? Well, a necklace I'm not really sure about the details of. But I've stitched a clasp for it. The angle makes the flower look a little wonky. I hope the necklace will turn out good enough to enter in a contest, but I feel so unsure about that right now.

This RAW bezel wasn't made for a contest, but I will probably redo it a bit and add to a piece of jewellery that I'll enter in a challenge. That's one of my new favourite greens there: gold lustered green tea (Toho). So yet another piece to add to my list of projects with deadlines.

Because of the deadlines there are also a few other projects I've had to take a break from. Then there are the project I have laying around for other reasons. Like this herringbone rope that I only stitch a little on, then put down, because I find it so fiddly and frustrating to add large beads to herringbone this way. On top of that I just think it looks skewd and wonky. But I will finish it. Someday...

I have another herringbone projects that's almost finished. I just can't decide whether or not to embellish it, which had been my initial plan. Also, I'm not sure on the clasp: I made it just a little bit too long so adding a clasp, I risk having a bracelet that'll slip over my hand while wearing it. This one's made with two sizes of Miyuki triangles, just like above. Colour's sparkling light bronze-lined aqua luster.

I also have other bits and pieces laying around everywhere. Like this flower made from two silverplated tulip bead caps. Good thing about it is that every now and then I return to it and think of a new way to alter the surface. First I stained it with alcohol inks. Then I added acrylic paint for a more opaque coloured finish. Last night I added golden wax on top of that.

And that's pretty much how it often look here: ongoing projects and UFOs scattered around the work tables (yes, I have to -- and then I do much of my beading in bed). To be found both in the bead room and the bedroom. But as long as I actually do pick up the UFOs at some point, I'm not worried. I like it. Only thing that's frustrating are all the WIPs I can't finish because I can't afford the supplies -- or in a few cases, the tools -- needed. Or wanted. A tight budget isn't fun for my creative side...

Monday, 21 February 2011

Last minute tip: Green Girl Studios giveaway

This is a really last minute tip. Andrew Thornton is giving away a fab bunch of brand new designs from Green Girl Studios. Their fine pewter beads, charms and findings are always such a treat -- you don't want to miss this one. These items are so new, you can't even find them in the online shop yet.

For your chance to win, hurry over to Andrew's blog now!

Bead blog recap weeks 6-7

It's been a fortnight again so once again, here's a recap in English of my latest two weeks of blogging at Manekis pärlblogg.

Versatile jewellery
There are many ways to create jewellery that can be worn in more than one way: reversible bracelets and pendants, lariats, brooches with brooch converters, single-strand necklaces that turn into multi-strand jewellery, wrist watches with interchangeable bracelets and more.

Steel wool
Fine steel wool (size 0000 or 4/0) is used to clean and give metal a satin shine. Use it to enhance high points on oxidised/patinated metal or to apply wax on wood.

Bead Dreams 2011
The big jewellery exhibition and contest accepts entries for Bead Dreams 2011. Deadline is April 5. Accepted entries will be displayed at the Bead & Button show. Read more about it here.

Tibetan silver
What is tibetan silver, which is so common in base metal beads and findings? And is it safe, considering reports in previous years about lead an cadmium in Chinese-made jewellery parts?

Jasseron is the Dutch name for rolo chains. These can be used in a type of linked beaded bracelets and necklaces that became popular on Benelux bead forums a few years back. A bit like beaded chain maille, but using pre-made chains instead of loose jump rings.

DIY rhinestone chains
How to make rhinestone chains. English version can be found on this blog.

Swarovski Elements innovations spring/summer 2012
Topaz blend, astral pink, amethyst blend, chrysolite opal, crystal bronze shade and vintage gold pearl -- I've got pictures of them now, courtsey of Swarovski AG.

Fire Mountain Gems' Jewelry-Making Contests 2011

FMG has divided their design contest into individual contest on different themes. Read all about it for your chance to win gift certificates and a chance to be showcased internationally.

Sirlig design contest
Swedish bead shop Sirlig has announced their first contest this year.

Beads as knobs on boxes
Beads can be used for many things. I've already mentioned one project using them as feet for an altered tin/jewellery box. Panduro uses wooden beads as knobs on altered paper boxes.

Charm chains for quick jewellery project

I really like chains that come with small leaf charms already attached. Just add flower or round beads and you have lush, blossoming or budding jewellery. Make a lariat necklace and you don't even have to add a clasp.

Lily of the valley
It's still a couple of months too early for the gentle lily of the valley to bud, but why not already daydream about spring and summer? From french beaded flowers to crochet barettes.

Dutch spiral, aussie spiral and spirale russe
Different techniques can have the same name and same or similar techniques can have different names. They do have one thing in common, though: peyote and a spiral shape.

Wire wrapped connectors
Make your own connectors for multi-strand jewellery with single-strand clasps.

Filigrees as glue-on bails
I've already mentioned using bail-making pliers to fold filigrees in half, making useful bails. But you can also use small charms and connectors as decorative glue-on bails.

Aluminium is gaining momentum among jewellery makers, especially now that more and more beaders are trying to find alternatives to the expensive silver. Unlike silver, it's also common to anodize aluminium, giving it bright colours.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

How to make a rhinestone chain

*Instruktioner på svenska finns HÄR*

I'm not the one that came up with the idea to make rhinestones this way. The inspiration comes from a chain I bought at Panduro some time in the 90's, long before I became a beader. They don't sell this type of chain anymore, but making your own chains in the same style is very easy. All you need is chaton montés and jump rings in colours of your choice.

chaton montés (AKA mounted crystals, preset rhinestones etc)
jump rings

Tools: 2 pairs of chain-nose or bent-nose pliers.

1. Begin by selecting rhinestones and rings. Your preset crystals shouldn't have a flat back with channels -- so called rose montés -- as these will be impossible to link. You need to use chatons, pointed-back crystals with a different type of settings. Avoid stones larger than 6 mm as those settings often have holes on one two of the sides: you need settings with a hole on each of the four sides for this technique to work.

2. Test how big the jump rings need to be in order to fit the holes. Avoid rings in heavy gauges. Also, make sure the diametre is large enough for two crystals to move about on one ring. For my chain, I will be using 4 mm rhinestones and 5 mm (outer diametre) jump rings.

3. Open a jump ring. If you are unsure of how to do this, check out these instructions. You may need to open the ring quite a bit in order for it not to get stuck in the setting. Holding the ring in your chain-nose pliers, push the end of the ring through one of the holes in the setting. Keep pushing it carefully, exiting through an adjacent hole. If the ring get stuck before you reach the hole, wiggle it until you are in line with the opening.

4. Add a second crystal on the jump ring in the same way you added the first one. Be sure you flip the crystal so they both face the same direction. It's easy to end up with one crystal facing up and the other facing down...

5. Close the loop using two pair of pliers, the same way you opened it. You might have to grab the ring using just the tips of your pliers as it can be tight on space at this point.

6. Add another ring in the two remaining holes on one of the rhinestones as in step 3. Keep adding new crystals, one after the other, until your chain reached the desired length.

7. Your chain is now ready to be used in your jewellery designs. For a simple bracelet or necklace, just add a clasp -- or attach a short section of chain on an earwire for sparkling earrings.

By making your own crystal chains you have the advantage of being able to choose the colours yourself -- on the rhinestones and settings as well as on the jump rings. Use different colours of crystals or stick to just one nuance. Mix the colours according to a strict pattern or add them randomly. And why not use coloured jump rings for an unusual effect? You can also test mixing different size crystal settings.

In the beginning, I recommended you avoid settings with parallel holes, but there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes you don't need crossed holes. Above, you can see a chain using mounted Swarovski hearts, linked together using 7 mm (OD) jump rings. (I got mine at Rings & Things.)

And as usual: if you've created something using my projects as inspiration, I'd love to see it. Post a link in the comments below or e-mail me if you want to show something you've made using my instructions.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Givaway from SoftFlex

A last minute tip (as they often tend to be): SoftFlexGirl is giving away one pair of Pocket Crimpers and 250 sterling silver crimp tubes (2 mm). For a chance to win, head over to Sara's blog and answer a couple of simple question. Tomorrow, Feb 10th, is the last day comment on the post.

I actually don't own any "regular" crimping pliers, but I do have two magical crimpers. A regular would probably also be useful sometimes. This crimper is a bit special as it's a mini version made to be easy to carry with you.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Flowers (a triadic colour scheme)

I really don't have much to say about these beads. Other than that I love to "collect" Czech and German pressed glass flower and leaf beads. There are so many shapes, colours and finishes to choose between and I love spending so much time online searching for something new, something different, some unusual.

Also, I like flowers the way someone who grew up with a garden-loving father that pointed out the flowers in the forest for his daughters do: I want to see individuality and different species, not just stereotypical five petal flowers or rose "swirls". Those archetypical run-of-the-mill flowers that are more ideas of a flower than actual interpretations of real or imagined species of flowers. Then it's not as cliché. Because that's why I tried to steer away from floral beads as a newbie. It felt like everyone used that, either floral-shaped beads or beads with flower (often rose) motifs). And it could be so dull. But when you give flower beads more of a personality and more natural look, it doesn't have to be. It feels alive and it feels, well, real.

This pic is one I took to illustrate what's know as a triadic colour scheme, using three colours on equal distanse from each other on the colour wheel. The ratio between the colours are important in these scheme, using one colour as base and the others as accents.

Oh, I see that I did have more to say about these than I thought...

Monday, 7 February 2011

Frosted bronze-lined black diamond

Now it's that time again when I've found a new colour I love and just have to tell everyone about it. This time it's Toho's frosted bronze-lined black diamond that has caught my eye. Did some emergency shopping and of cause I just had to check if it was back in stock, which it was and so I ended up buying it. I've been meaning to get some beads in this colour for some time, but either it's been out of stock in the shop I wanted to buy it from or in stock in shops I currently don't plan on shopping from. So I've been looking forward to seeing this one IRL for months. Now I have and I'm so not disappointed!

I think the best way of describing the colour is tabacco, a shadowed golden brown. The velvet matte grey blend with the shiny metallic bronze in a softly glowing smokey hue.

And now it's fueled my appetite for metallic-lined frosted/matte beads. Especially beads in other linings than the usual silver-lined ones as e.g. bronze changes the colour in a way silver doesn't. I hope to find some frosted coloured copper-lined seeds, but don't think I've seen any.

Also, it made me think about buying lined black diamond/transparent grey beads in general as the grey glass can act sort of like a satin/hematite surface effect does in that it dulls the colour of the lining. When viewing the bead, it can act like almost a sort of antique patina. I saw that in another colour I also picked up on a whim when shopping, magenta-lined transparent grey (sorry not pic). Wonder if there are any other nuances of colour-lined transparent grey beads to get my hands on?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Bead blog recap weeks 4-5

Time again for yet another recap of my writings over at my other blog, the one I write in Swedish, Manekis Pärlblogg. You can use e.g. Google Translate to translate Swedish. Not perfect but it's good enough to understand the general idea. Most links go to English-speaking websites.

Patterned aluminium discs

Beaducation are now carrying a new range of aluminium discs in different patterns (in black) and sizes. Aluminium seems to be getting more and more widespread as beaders keep looking for un-plated alternatives to expensive silver.

In the year of the cat
According to Vietnamese astrology, we've now entered the year of the cat (in China and other countries, the year of the pig). Cats are beloved animals, not least among creative people. They also like beads...

Turning in flat herringbone
There are a few different methods for making turns in flat herringbone. Find the one that suits you and your design.

ABS February challenge
Art Bead Scene Blog has presented their latest monthly challenge. The artwork to be inspired by this time is Singer Sargent's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.

Dorset button jewellery
Hate buttons? You still might like these versatile jewellery components as they don't look like traditional buttons. And you can even make them yourself.

Flowers among the buttons

If you like to work with acrylic/lucite flowers, don't forget to check out the button aisle. These lovely 3d flower buttons are from a bead shop. Amongst buttons, you can also find pretty, big MOP flowers as well as dimensional metal flowers.

Swarovski innovations spring/summer 2012
Latest colours and shapes from Swarovski revealed. How about Chrysolite Opal, Amethyst Blend, Topaz Blend and Crystal Bronze Shade? No less than five new hearts for those who love that.

Thing-a-day 2011
February means a month long challenge to excersize creativity daily for some.

Lockets for embroidery
On the blog Wild Olive, you can learn how to make pretty lockets with simple, small embroidered motifs inside.

Glass bubble charms

French bead shop Perles & Co now sells fun charms topped with magnifying glass cabochons.

Kate McKinnon's clasp for beadwoven jewellery

Kate McKinnon sells an interesting couple of clasps, designed for beadwoven jewellery. She also shows how you can make your own.

Herringbone starts
There are different methods for starting flat and tubular/circular herringbone, not just the ladder stitched strip that many of us first learnt.

Re-designing jewellery in style

Re-designing jewellery can be seen has part of two current trends in fashion: the vintage vogue and the eco chic/green fashion.

Why gold may discolour your skin
It happens to many, their gold jewellery turn their skin black. It's not a sign of allergy, but rather a mix of two factors: abrasion and the compounds in you skin's oils and perspiration.

Create abstract patterns using letter stamps
Letter stamps, especially those in fancy fonts, can be used not only to write on metal but to create abstract patterns and background textures.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The herringbone bracelet and the cat

For some reason, when I look at the colours of this bracelet, I keep thinking "cat". Don't ask me why. I guess I often think about cats -- after all, we do have eight of them and one in particular pestered me while beading this -- but I don't get why I keep having this association. Perhaps the white and nougat reminds me of this fella? The little bead wrecker is not this colour: he's black and white with yellow eyes.

Anyway, this is a simple herringbone bracelet I made after accepting a rather tricky colour challenge. I wanted a challenge after the inspirational burgundy/bronze/blue and jump on this one perhaps a second too fast. Since I only use beads I already have for these challenges, it soon proved tough to find beads in the right colours that'd work together. So after days and weeks of trial and error, I ended up with these three Japanese and Czech beads of various sizes and shapes.

Normally, I don't like stripes, but with the beads being so different, keeping the design simple felt like a smart thing. Originally, I planned to make a wrap bracelet, but the kitten wouldn't let me bead so I gave up when it was long enough to fit once around my wrist. To keep it slightly more interesting than stripes usually are, I varied the width of the petrol coloured stripes. (I screwed up the pattern in the beginning, but after having ripped it up several times, I just ignored it.) It's not a masterpiece, but I'm satisfied with the fact that I managed to do something and succeed with the challenge.

Oh, I even did *shudders* peyote... Didn't realise it until afterwards, but that beaded button I made for the closure is circular peyote. I've never done circular peyote before. Tubular, yes, but not circular.

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