Friday, October 26, 2012

Maple Plum Mojito

A new bracelet, all plummy.

I am starting to get the hang of hollow beads but I still have a lot of failures that end up in the $1 bead bowl.

Hmmm, remembering what colors of glass I used in this set of beads.
For sure there is Cim's Maple, and Cim's Mojito. The violet I'm not sure what it was, sorry.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Many Moons

The simplest of necklaces made with the simplest of beads.

Thirty-nine light ivory glass "full moon" beads, each one decorated with only a tiny piece of fine silver foil.
All strung together on hammered coiled links of sterling silver.

The hardest part was staying focused at the torch long enough to make all those matching full moons.
I have so many ideas for necklaces in this same style, I think I am going to need a lot more 1/16th" mandrels.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Love You Pumpkin

A Pandora style pumpkin bead.

Huh, despite all the kicking and screaming on the way to having my personal big-hole-bead home factory, I think I am going to like making these jewels.

I did a small show last night (in a bar) and sold a handful of them.
The response was very positive. My worry was that the Pandora ladies would find mine too "organic" and "primitive." But, surprise, they found them "ancient" and "rustic" and snapped them up.

The only complaint was that I didn't have any sterling ones.
So, I'm off to order some sterling tubing and discs.

If you need me I'll be at my work bench cranking these little babies out.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nancy Valle - Tree Jewelry

Are these not the most amazing ceramic beads?

I wear this stretchy bracelet all the time - my friend Nancy Valle made it using her beads.
Sometimes I go to her studio and putter around with clay and make my own beads.
I'm not a big fan of clay, it's sticky and dirty (literally - as in made of dirt), unpredictable and stinky.
But O how I love stuff made out of it.

Her studio is an astonishing space full of her sculptures, drawings, materials and inspirational stuff.
She rarely  makes beads anymore, so I am very lucky to have one of her bracelets.

That giant piece that is suspended in front of the windows is meant to hang outdoors in a tree.
Yes, she calls these pieces "tree jewelry."
Individual components, which are like giant ceramic beads, are strung on thick metal cables (just like bead-a-lon), crimped and then worn by the lucky trees.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mushrooming Pinterest

So many new ideas in my head, they're like mushrooms coming up everywhere.
Pinterest, which I resisted at first, is amazing. It's really feeds me creatively.
Thank you to the clever person who thought it up and got it going, and please, pay no attention to my daughter who calls your invention "Tumblr for housewives."

Dear readers, I would love to look at your Pinterest boards.
Click here to see mine.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Autumn Mess

I just finished hammering up a great big autumnal charm bracelet.
Glass beads, sterling silver, a big amber nugget, pink moonstones, seed pods, an antler slice, wooden beads and a carved ivory bakelite bead - a hot mess of Fall goodness.



It's not Halloween at my house with out squeaky rubber rats.
Other than to buy a big pumpkin, they're all the seasonal decor I need.

The leaves are 'peaking' here in upstate New York and the show the maple trees are putting on is definitely
the inspiration for this bracelet.

I think I've earned a pumpkin beer.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Poppa Bead, Momma Bead & Baby Bead

I am super excited about these beads, and I am not easily riled up.

So many ideas coming together all at once.

First blowing huge hollows, I'm newly addicted to making these monsters.
Then making, and decorating, my own bead caps.
And finally getting my Retro Bead Liner up and working. I've had the thing over two years and never successfully cored a bead until last month. The secret is using bead caps.

The bigger, bottom bead cap is made from a vintage button.
I hammered the crap out of that old pewter button, then stamped a big hole in the center of it and finally domed it in my dapping block. I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this, but I did think it up on my own.

Yes, everything is a bit wonky, but I love that about them.
They have that rustic, primative, ancient vibe that I am drawn to.
I don't like things too tidy, and I never want my beads to look like a machine came anywhere near them while they were being created.

The baby one is Pandora bracelet sized.
I think the bigger ones will be nice on ball chain or a fancy silk ribbon.

p.s. the rubber mice are in at Dollar Tree, and they also have great squeaky rats this year.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Pearly Clouds

Earrings without glass - say it's not so...

I just had to make myself a pair of earrings with the incredible baroque pearls I found (guiltily bought).
There is a whole strand of these beautiful monsters, let me know if you want me to make you a pair just like them.

I have a new toy too, a little hand held drill to make the holes in pearls larger so that I can thread 20 gauge wire thru them. Why didn't I think of this years ago? Expect lots of opulent jewelry that features pearls and thick wire in the coming weeks.

A gratuitous snapshot of the mysterious Miss Kiki.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A Chill is in the Air

Fall is here, and the chilly weather and colorful leaves mean one thing - time to get ready for holiday shows.
I'm building a big inventory of beads - like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter.

All sorts of stuff - a hearty bead stew of sorts.
Super sized hollows, head pins, charms, buttons, leaves, seed pods, tiny wee spacers, seeds, pairs for earrings, sets for bracelets... and a moth bead.

Looking up at the sunset thru one of the ginko trees in my front yard.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Pile of Leaves

A big ol' pile of fall leaves.
What a fun day at the torch, all sorts of frits, fall colored rods and double helix stringers.

The inspiration.