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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ARRRRR! Reading patterns makes me CRAZY!

I have a love/hate relationship with bead stitching patterns.  I love to learn new techniques.  I hate following long instructions.  Or looking at visual patterns that my brain can't process.  It's because I am a tactile learner when it comes to beading and I best learn doing the work in a classroom or by watching a video.  Then the instructions and the visuals make sense and I can go back to them as a guide.

My latest adventure was a trip to Miami for bead shopping.  My little town of Key West has a nice bead store but its not focused on bead weaving supplies.  I confess I went a little crazy in Miami and spent about 2 hours in the store before I came out with a very small bag and a much much lighter wallet.  

I also did something I rarely do these days.  I bought a book with seed bead projects (Anna Elizabeth Drager's Creative Designs Using Shaped Beads).  Now, the reason I did this is because there are so many new shaped beads that I have never used before in my bead work.  I thought it would be a good practice idea to create some of the projects in the book.

I can tell you I cursed more this last week than I did the last 6 months.  There were so many moans, sighs, and ARRRs coming out of my mouth that my dogs began leaving the room as soon as I sat at my beading table.

I picked what I thought were cool but relatively simple projects. The first one went rather smoothly but the second one was killer.  It took me the entire weekend and I mean many hours of work before I finally caught on and could complete a bead in about an hour and without looking at every step.  Bead embroidery jewelry is a piece of cake compared to this IMHO.  That's because I can just go at it intuitively and learn from general guidance.  Give me structure and rules to follow and I suck.

It's probably why I am much better at cooking than baking!  Here's the result.
The project was for a ring that was configured to stand on the squared end rather than lay flat but I like it flat.  I liked the shape of the beads so much I decided to make a necklace too.

The turquoise ring was the 1st one made and you can see it does not have the same crisp squarish shape as the black one.  That is because the instructions called for going back through beads and skipping one and I missed that.  I tried to correct it later but was too late.

I made the clasp after watching  tutorial on Fire Mountain Gems.  Their's did not have a bead on it but I added one on mine to have a nice finish.