A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I recently learned how to make beaded tassel earrings (a year ago--what can I say? I'm slow), thanks to Bianca at All About Beads and  her Fabby YouTube channel. HERE is the tut if you're interested.

Well, as you can see, I went a little crazy--my wrapping my head around this technique coincided with a delivery of some rather delectable Czech glass beads from Stinky Dog Beads. I'm crazy for the "wampum" tube beads, as you can see below. As well as the Picasso beads of every other shape and color--like the 3-cut seed beads and faceted rondelles in transparent sea green, and the red Picasso spacers below.

Southwest Bonanza

These began with a gorgeous set of enameled beadcaps from Anne Gardanne--these aged Picasso seed beads from Beads and Babble seemed perfect with them, as well as the short Czech Picasso barrels in mint green from Stinky Dog Beads, and again with the sea green 3-cut seeds--LOVE those.
How Green Was My Lawn

This pair of earrings began as 10 lovely Czech Picasso glass teardrops in azure and a couple of faceted sky blue rondelles from (yes, you guessed it) Stinky Dog Beads, which eventually joined ranks with more seed beads from Beads and Babble, big aqua glass spacers, my own embossed copper beadcaps, and Indonesian glass beads in turquoise from Happy Mango Beads (on the earwires).
Island Paradise

Well here is a little Cinco de Mayo for you at the end of August. I started with the little scarlet Czech flowers (need I say it? from Stinky Dog Beads--or just "The Dog," as it is known at my house), determined to use them in a tassel earring. I finally settled on some other beads to go with them--variegated turquoise seed beads, pale yellow seed beads, Indonesian glass seed beads in coral red and transparent teal (those are the larger ones right on top of the flowers) from Happy Mango Beads, my own embossed copper beadcaps, a couple of faceted Czech rondelles in azure from The Dog, and two carnelian rondelles from my ancient bead stash. I picture Frida Kahlo in these.
Cinco de Mayo RIGHT NOW

For these I started out with Czech Picasso seed beads from Beads and Babble (I believe they are the same ones as above in Island Paradise and How Green Was My Lawn, except not etched). I used some heavily Picassoed sea green 3-cuts in the tassels, as well as a pair of jade green faceted Czech rondelles, sea green wampum tubes in metallic-accented sea green, all courtesy of The Dog, my own embossed beadcaps topped with a pair of Tierra Cast caps, and some old glass tile beads in amber from Fire Mountain (which they of course no longer carry because they were too fabulous.)
Green and Gold

And lastly, this is the first design I attempted when I finally sucked up the courage to try Bianca's tutorial. I started with a pair of Gardanne beadcaps, and went from there. I used a mix of both Japanese and Indonesian seed beads in turquoise (the latter from Happy Mango), rose-gold faceted Czech rondelles from BobbiThisnThat, and sultry black-finish rhinestone spacers from The Dog. And then lots of pewter and sterling silver. (I think the silver heishi are from Fusion Beads, and the little daisies are probably from Monsterslayer.) GIRLY!!! You could blow the lid off a My Little Pony party with this kind of ear candy.
Girl Power

Well, frankly, I'm exhausted after all that. Time for a nap.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Glory of Summer

I designed this necklace--believe it or not--around the little blue multi-striped beads around the bail. I had made a bracelet with them, and loved using them so much, I wanted to use them again in a necklace. Aren't they darling? (And of course they are from Happy Mango Beads, my go-to bead store--and they have more!! Just click the link above, or below the picture below.)
Indonesian Glass
So off I went to excavate all my blue, yellow and orange beads to find the elements for my necklace. I knew it was meant to be when I found this spectacular enamel butterfly in my stash, from Gardanne Beads.
The lady has a way with enamel, no?

I went with copper, because I love the warm/cool contrast, and chose a little of this and that to go with my beads and my butterfly--a cultured sea glass nugget from Stinky Dog Beads in cornflower blue, a spotted, etched lampwork spacer in a similar shade (it worked great as part of my bail!) from Julie Miller Glass, blue kyanite ovals from Lima Beads, recycled glass tulips in vivid yellow from Afrobeadia, seed beads from here and there, and tiny copper torpedo beads from Monsterslayer.

I wanted to really make a statement with that butterfly, so rather than simply using the holes for stringing, I created a couple of yoke type contraptions from heavy copper wire, and attached them to the butterfly with copper headpins. I attached my beaded necklace portion (strung on Softflex) through a lampwork spacer--they have nice big holes, and the beading wire goes right through there. I was thrilled that it worked! I wanted to echo the yokes a bit in the chain portion, so I made some bar chain links, just by hammering more heavy copper wire, and making holes with my trusty Beadsmith hole punch pliers. I added a simple second strand of delicate copper chain, with another kyanite oval.

(I don't mean to brag, but the blue in that butterfly is the color of the clear skies up here in Montana--shocking, nearly cobalt blue overhead when you're out hiking.)

I don't usually use these colors--bright blue or bright yellow--but it was fun!
Happy rest-of-the-Summer to you!