Saturday, January 6, 2018

Making mandalas

If you looked through my jewelry collection, one thing you would quickly notice is that I am not big on making earrings.  I am usually drawn to make bigger pieces like bib style necklaces or cuffs even.

Lately however, I am in love with all the variations that can be had in designing earrings.  I love weaving different patterns and beads and figuring what I like best.  It's not for the impatient beader as I can't tell you how many times I rework an earring after putting on a row and not liking it.

One thing I discovered, however, was to trust my instincts.  As I am adding rows, sometimes I want to stop after a couple.  Sometimes it's because I love how the earring looks already.  Sometimes, it's because I hate how the earring looks.  But, I have learned to force myself to go on and make a game of it.  Can I add something that will make me love an earring I hate or can I make a pretty earring even prettier?

I am often quite pleased with the results.  Here's a sample.  To see which of these are for sale, Please visit my etsy shop at:  Shanty Chic Beads

When you really dislike a piece --- Fix it!!!

I wish I could show you the original piece but Irma took out my computer.  I think the hard drive is still good so maybe some day I will be able to transfer pictures and show you how this all began.  Unfortunately, I did not think to take a new picture before I began the makeover.  For now, all I have is the final result.  This started as a simple centerpiece with only two color, all light shades.  It was boring as hell.

I recently took a private lesson on color with a local artist who paints landscapes.  I knew about the color wheel but really did not understand how to apply it.  I was afraid of using too many colors and didn't understand how to add interest with color and with shades of color.  In just one lesson, I feel as though I learned a lot.  I wish there were more classes on this directly related to bead artists.  I have books but I am the type of person whose fingers have to learn how to do something before my brain  fully understands the book knowledge.

I consider myself still in the infant stage of this but my  teacher has really pushed me into thinking about dusting off the cobwebs on my wings, spreading them wide and flying into the unknown.  Hence the butterflies in this piece.  A transformation is beginning.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Making Waves

I was in the mood to make big waves.  I didn't know how to do that.  I liked the idea of learning but I got diverted time and time again.  Carol Huber Cypher is a master at making waves and she was willing to show others.  I was profoundly affected by the waves she made so much so that I dove in...deep.  Once I reacquainted myself with herribone stitch I was ready to give it a go.  Turns out making waves is rather easy.  Almost meditative I would say.

My wave pattern, while similar, uses a different color palette and different bead pattern.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bead Weaving in the Keys - textured patterns

Loooove creating textured patterns.  Lately, I have been popping in a larger size bead every so many rows just to make things curvy interesting.  And, with my rings, I have given my brain full access to stream of consciousness designs.  Now, that's just a fancy way of saying I am doing my own thing and loving it!  These items are mostly a mix of peyote and brick stitch.  A couple rings are right angle weave.
After I created the turquoise one, I realized it looked a bit like the design in my bathroom rug, except the rug is more random.  Maybe next design.

The two rings on the right have a right angle weave base.  I added the embellishments after  making the base.
These are all a combo of peyote and brick stitch edges.

Friday, September 9, 2016


I guess you could say I am a curious person.  If I learn something in a class or from a book, my brain starts whirling.  What if I did this?  What if I used that?  I get filled with a driven passion to adapt the techniques or apply them in a new way for me.  So, it was inevitable that once I learned a few patterns from  Anna Elizaeth Draeger's book, I would begin adapting them and making them my own.

In this case, I used a bunch of dagger beads that have been feeling very neglected.  They were up for the experiment and so was I so I used them to create Ms. Draeger's bauble bead and then I embellished them using a technique I learned from another of her patterns.  Here's the result.

I absolutely love how these just stand up on their own like little R2D2's.  I am naming this series "Sputniks".

I liked them so much I created this set next.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bead Weaving - Fixing a Droop problem

My beading style is very intuitive.  Yes, I take classes and yes I look at videos and books and other people's work, but when it comes right down doing the deed, I like to just sit down with a palette of beads, and needle and thread.  And, off I go.

For this project, I dug through some stash and spread it out on my bead pad.  My beadweaving bead stash has not been refreshed in a while and therefore, I don't have any of the 2-hole dagger beads.  I don't have many 2-holed beads at all for that matter. But, I do have some beautiful one hole dagger beads that I decided to incorporate into this piece.

 I started the pendant by stitching around a winter white wood bead, adding layers before embellishing with the daggers.  Once I put daggers all around, it flopped when I held it up.  I expected it to do that but just figured I would find a way to resolve it.

 First, I stitched some beads in a triangular shape behind the daggers.  This provided some support.  They no longer drooped backwards.  Now, they drooped forward.

My solution to that was to stitch gold size 11's around each dagger to hold the front in place but now it looked boring.   The pretty daggers were obscured by some rather bland gold tone beads.

 Then, I remembered my big supersize stash of sequins!!!.  I chose the silver sequins cause they seemed to pop against the rest of the piece.   I liked the watery, mirror effect too.

Just for good measure, I stitched a row of size 11's around the back as I moved from sequin to sequin.  Now, those babies stayed in place.

For the necklace part, I tried going with just a simple strung strand but surprising as this may sound, I felt it took away  from the pendant.  I had been hankering to do some freeform stitching so I decided to stitch around the beads I had strung.  I like this...for now.  I made it so I could easily detach the strands should I decide on a different arrangement in the future.

Here is the final product.

ABS Challenge August - Dressing up your Poly Clay Pendants

I like funky.  A lot.  If something has a bit of a shabby look to it, I'm in.  That doesn't mean I don't like to dress things up sometimes.

This month I was checking out the Art Bead Scene (ABS) monthly challenge and it inspired me to weave a little bead stitching into one of my pendants.  While the palette in my pendant is quite a bit brighter than the Paul Klee's (shown below), I immediately saw the color connection with his.

His pendant is more abstract than mine yet just looking at Klee's rendering, I instantly knew he was capturing a nature scene.  And, I just as instantly thought of my pendant.  Mine is abstract too but in a much more diffused way.  My lines are softer because in my mind's eye, I saw the flowers in a rather unkept garden spilling over themselves versus in a park.

Because I liked the lines in his painting, I decided to add some of my own straight,dotted, and V shapes by stitching a couple rows of beads and adding "flowers."  AND I did so because I scored a huge stock of sequins and therefore every embellishment requires the use of sequins until I bore myself to death with the use of them!!

Anyway, here are pictures of the pendant and the necklace I made from it.  Also pictured below is the other side of this double sided pendant.  I only entered my pendant in the challenge as I was not sure I could use the same piece in both the bead and the jewelry entries.

 And here is the Paul Klee painting.

And here is the necklace.

 And here is the other side of the pendant.

Here is the link to the rest of the entries.  Go check them out.  Art Bead Scene blog

Making mandalas

If you looked through my jewelry collection, one thing you would quickly notice is that I am not big on making earrings.  I am usually drawn...