Friday, August 21, 2015

We're All Ears :: August Inspiration -(more canyon pictures here)

One of the least accessible and most photographed vistas in the American Southwest is Antelope Canyon.
Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona is home to some magnificent slot canyons. According to Wikipedia, the Navajo people have a name for the Upper Antelope Canyon - Tsé bighánílíní - which means "the place where water runs through rocks." Slot canyons are chasms eroded over eons by wind and rain and raging floods to create one of the most spectacular natural masterpieces. Antelope Canyon is located on the Navajo Reservation and can only be accessed by licensed tours with a guide and a permit to visit them. At certain times of the day, light penetrates the canyons bathing the entire area in a haze of liquid gold. At certain places magical shafts of light - sometimes referred to as "God Spots" - penetrate to the canyon floor, as if a cosmic stage performance is about to begin. These magic shafts of light only penetrate the secret chambers of the canyons for around 30 minutes each day from late May to late June. The undulating views of the sandstone walls play with your depth perceptions and make for fantastic living sculptures that will continue to shift and change with the coming years. 

(This is the shot I chose)
"Lower antelope 1 md" by User:Moondigger - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

I loved all the pictures, but this one drew me in. And as luck had it..I had beads that I thought would pay homage to the wonderful earthy colors of the cave. I had several designs in mind, but life has really gotten in my way the past few weeks so I was only able to do one. I hope to finish up the other ideas I had and post at a later date. 

So here is my offering for this challenge. I thread wrapped the beads back and forth around the silver tone metal earring hoops.

The stones just seem to mimic the swirls, dips, and rises in the stones of the cave. Beautiful earthly colors.  For more great ear candy by other designers check out Erin's blog page. 

For now..

Keep on Beading


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Seed Bead Explosion - Color A

Again I have embarked on another challenge hosted by Lisa Lodge at A Grateful Artist - Pine Ridge Treasure. I was supposed to have posted yesterday, but life got in the way. So here is my offering for Seed Bead Explosion.

Luckily I remembered to take a picture of the beads she sent. I have never worked with the mini duos or double holed spikes before so I had to do some research into designs.

My first piece I used a spiral pattern using most of the beads in the kit. Then using the brick stitch created the pendant. (My first go at the brick stitch). I changed the beads sizes and color combo's about every 4 inches in the necklase. I used a simple toggle clasp in the back.


For the earrings I used the brick stitch again to go around the circle.

For the duos I used a design I found on Bead Fusion and then added the spikes. It didn't come out quite like I had planned, so it will have to sit on the back burner for now til I have time to play more with it. 

My third piece which I never got to start because life got in the way will be using the two holed triangles. If you follow my blog, I should have it finished in a couple of weeks and will post it here.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more challenges.

So for now...

Keep on Beading


Friday, August 14, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Znet Blog Post - Creative Spark - The Ocean!

This is the time of the year everyone dreams of the ocean, but can't always get there. So Znetshows challenged us to come up with beach themed jewelry for their fantastic summer issue of Creative Spark using their awesome sea glass beads. Along with the jewelry challenge we were also given the chance to come up with something non-jewelry. So I decided to use the sea glass beads that I got from znetshows to create some crocheted "feet-candy" or in other words some crocheted sandals that could be worn to the beach.

I used cotton crochet thread so that should your feet get wet the yarn would not be affected. In the first pair I used the Turquoise Bay Spike Beads by leaving open spaces in the crochet for them to come through.

For this set I used Turquoise Bay Double Holed Beads in oval shape and dark blue spacer beads that had come with some dark blue sea glass I had purchased before from Znetshows. I then added some "beachy" charms. This was a very simple crochet project with just a loop for the toe and crocheted straps to go around the ankle. Again I had used the cotton crochet thread so if you decided to wade in the cool sea waters, your sweet "foot candy" wouldn't be damaged.

For this next set I again used the cotton crochet thread. I also used Teal Hour Glass beads along with white spacer sea glass beads and "beachy" themed charms.

As soon as summer slows a bit for me I will post the crochet tutes showing how I made them. So stay tuned and I wish everyone a safe and happy summer!

So til later...

Keep on Beading


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Flora Tones 2015 Challenge

Time again for a new challenge. This revel is another one from Lisa Lodge at A Grateful Artist/Pine Ridge Treasures. She host the best challenges with such beautiful colors and beads. I like to join her's and others to make myself think and work outside the box.

The colors for this challenge are just so mellow that I knew I would have to keep my designs simple. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the goodies she sent as I was so excited to get my package. But I will try to point them out as I go.

Up first is a piece I would call Spring Garden. The colors just so remind me of a spring garden after the rain. There are soft pink glass beads in both rows. The first row has the larger pink glass beads and the second the smaller pink glass beads. Those came with the challenge. The green glass beads I used as accents are some I had on hand. The larger purplish pink glass beads I had on hand and have been wanting to use them. I paired them up with silver bead caps . I also used dark maroony purple beads with the green beads on the first row.

I used small bead caps to capture the strands and a silver toggle clasp. The necklace is 18 inches long.

The next two necklaces I made more as choker styled to try something different. I made this picture larger so you could see the little purple drops along the bottom and the purple rounds on top. I used a pattern I found on Fusion Beads. It is a Flat Spiral Rope design and made sure as I stitched I put drops and rounds in the right spot. I was trying for a different color with the purple. The turquoise and large purple beads are mine. the drops and the small rounds are from the challenge.

 I did a chain with lobster clasp as the closure.  Really enjoyed trying out this stitch. wasn't as hard as I thought it might be.

These are the earrings I made to match.

This design I came up with while looking through my stash of beads. The pink beads are glass chips and are irregular in shape. The purple squares are metal. I wired them together using silver tone wire. It too came out as a choker style. 

I used a simple s-clasp for this necklace.
These are the earrings I made to match.

And last but not least, I made a bracelet. The green and purple beads are from the challenge. I had checked out a book called The Art Of Beadwork by Jane Lock and found this pattern called Loop the Loop Bracelet and really liked it. So I used her instructions and the green seed beads and both purple drop beads from the challenge to make this bracelet. It has pink seed beads as the core that were in the challenge also.This was an interesting design to make as it looked easier in the book...but I stuck with it and it came out really well.

The only problem is that the loop I made to go over the large pink bead from the challenge would quite go over, so I am going to have to do some rework, but for the pictures I used a toggle bar.

I hope you enjoyed my offering for the Flora Tones Challenge. For more check out the list of participants at  Lisa Lodge at A Grateful Artist/Pine Ridge Treasures.

Til next time

Keep on beading


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beach Blog Hop 2015

Once again it is time for a challenge/blog hop put on by Lisa of The Grateful Artist. I love doing her challenges and hops as it really makes me think outside the box and try new things.

First is a picture, I actually remembered to take one...of what I was sent:

Of course they sat on my desk while I mulled over what I wanted to do staring at me everyday. I knew I wanted to try making a cuff bracelet, but just couldn't quite figure out how. So since I follow her, I went to  Sally Russick blog who had just done a cuff with a cabochon. And then I went to Cyndi Lavin site Beading Arts who I also follow and have purchased her jewelry books. The most current one, Arm Candy. After looking at both of their sites and the books, I jumped into making a cuff. I discovered, they aren't that easy, but what I learned making this one, I will carry with me when I make my next one. I had the cabochon made long before I came up with the cuff pattern. The fabric is some scraps I had on hand and the light green beads mixed in with the smaller beads are from Lisa's beads. I had wanted to use the star fish and the sand dollars, but they just wouldn't lie correctly so I used them elsewhere.

And here are the sand dollars with some of the other beads. The bubble pendant I got at Hobby Lobby. The caps on the blue beads I had on hand and really liked how they worked on them. Then the orange beads I had and just put them on jump rings and made a chain from them to hang the beach charms on. Then just hung everything from the pendant. Then I hung the pendant on a chain I already had.

The star fish I made into earrings along with some orange beads that looked kinda like coral and some aqua "caps" I got at Hobby Lobby also. (I only went into look...really) I also added the rice pearls I got in the challenge kit. They are strung on silvertone eye pins. The coral I decided to try and do a bit of wrapping around them to see how it looked. I really like how they turned out and can see them being worn on the beach!

Since I still had more beads and wanted to try some more bead weaving, I found a design on All Free Jewelry Making. The bracelet was created by BeeJang from Bead Tutorial. It is called Sky Blue Tiny Treasure Bracelet. I didn't quite have the right beads, but I think it came out nicely. Though I should have used my clear thread. It is a bit big so I will put a smaller closure on it. The dark green and orange beads I had on hand, the rest were from Lisa. 

AND because I still had some beads left, I made up 5 pairs of simple earrings. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading and looking at the pieces I made, for the list of the other designers and more eye candy hop over to Lisa's blog A Grateful Artist.

And a big thank you to my daughter Sydny who modeled the bracelets for me.

Til next time,

Keep on beading.


Friday, July 17, 2015

We're All Ears - July Challenge

This month Erin has given us a really cool challenge :African made quilts.  The main theme are the African quilts made by the women of the villages. I was really enthralled with the colors of the different quilts and how they were made from clothing and other items that were not useful anymore in their current state. But cut up they could be made into hand sewn quilts.It was interesting on how different and so very colorful the quilts were. For the entire story you can go to We're All Ears.

"The quilters start at one of the corners of the sari and work their way around it, usually in a counterclockwise direction. They fix patches made from the family's old clothing to the sari with a running back stitch that eventually covers the entire quilt, both patchwork top and sari bottom. Some quilters create small, close-spaced stitches, others spread them further apart. The stitches exhibit a distinctive rhythm that is part of the individual quilter's visual signature."
~Professor Henry Drewal

Interestingly enough I had been at Hobby Lobby a few days before Erin posted the challenge and had purchased some multicolored chip stone beads. I didn't have any thought on what I would used them for. I just liked them. So when this challenge popped up, well I knew what I would be using. My multicolored chip stone beads. 

 In fact I so loved the earrings, I made a necklace and bracelet to match. 

This was a great challenge and I can't wait to see what others did. To see more hop over to Erin's blog  and feast your eyes on more ear candy!.

Til next time:

Keep on beading!