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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is It Too Soon to Think About Christmas? Nah!

We are half way to Christmas already.  The holiday season is about to smack us square in the face. There is some wonderful crafting new to share about Christmas. Cousin is about to roll out a new line to stores in just a few days called 'Tis The Season.  It is filled with lovely Christmas themed charms, glittery beads, tiny jingle bells, and tons of ideas.  There are rings specifically made for wine glass charms too with this line.  It's enough to get your creative juices flowing and be ahead of the game when Christmas parties comes around.

The Creative Circle Ambassadors were the first to receive the line so we could play around with it. Delving into this lot really got me in the Christmas spirit.  And yes, I got a bit carried away. Below you will find a video tutorial for some really simple and cute ornaments using this line as well as a few pictures of the items I made.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Prima Bead - Bead and Button Show Project - Part Two

This is the second part to my previous post about the Bead and Button Show project I did for Prima Bead.  You can read about the first one here.

After my perfectly deep navy pearls arrived I started much like the other project with a Right Angle Weave stitch.  I did large sections of each color of pearls with various colored crystals added between the pearls.

This gave it a different look than the first one.  I then had this crazy notion to make something different for the focal.  I took one of the huge round pearls and encircled it crystal rondelles.  The tricky part was to create the focal without the thread showing through and looking all nasty.

Somehow it worked.   To attach it to the center of my right angle weaves, I did the band in two sections and then attached the ends to the rondelles using them as a way of back tracking to the point I supposed to start adding the crystals in between the pearls.  I couldn't believe that it actually worked.

I wanted to change up the way the main part of the necklace looked as compared to the first one.  This is where it got all fancy.

I laid out my pattern using Adobe Illustrator with the shapes the same size as the beads I was using to make sure my scale was correct.  I had to actually use a bit of Algebra to figure it all out so it could be like I wanted it.  Color coding really helped.
The easy part was done.  Now for actually implementing the design.  Piece by piece, it began to come together.

I created a second dangle almost identical to the one on the first necklace just because I liked it so much.  It also tied in to the main pearl in the collar.  It also helped to pull the collar straight.  Adding in the Sterling Silver chains also added the right about of contrast to the lovely colors.

I added three strands of the Sterling Silver chain in varying lengths and crossing them over each other.

There were some very minor changes to the design I originally created in Illustrator.  Some things only trial and error can fix.  Not everything on paper works in reality.
Side view of finished necklace

I discovered that it was way too short to actually be worn even though I had measured and double checked everything.  I had to cut the clasp off and add in some chain and another toggle clasp.  It worked out better in the end.  It added a bit of comfort to the back of the necklace.

Finished necklace

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Prima Bead - Bead and Button Show Project - Part One

In early February, I posted about a new project for Cousin which would be our "biggest assignment to date."  I'm super excited and super nervous about being able to create something that will be displayed at such a prestigious event.

While I sorted my supplies, I ran into a problem.  The color of some of the pearls were off.  I had ordered dark blue/navy and what I received was dark teal/green color.  Turns out I had a mislabeled batch.  Oops.... I reached out to one of my contacts there at Cousin/Prima Bead and he quickly sprang into action to make sure the other pearls were labeled correctly for other customers and find me a perfect match for what I wanted.  Within a few days, I received my new goodies.  But the fact I had off colored items didn't stop me from creating a beautiful piece from the pearls.  So now I have two necklaces for Cousin to choose from.  Below are the progression of each necklace from idea conception to finished beauty.

The beginning of the first one:
This was the focal design I came up with and the rest of the necklace flowed around it.  Sterling Silver fancy head pin, filigree heart connector and eye pins were used with a 10x8mm Crystazzi Dark Sapphire teardrop bead, huge 20 mm glass pearl and a 6x8mm Crystazzi Light Sapphire rondelle.
I came up with a pattern using 6mm deep teal, light turquoise, and white glass pearls.  I knew I wanted to use a collar style necklace as the base for this piece to give it a Victorian feel.

I used Beadalon's WildFire Thermally Bonded Bead Weaving Thread in Frost 10 lb., 15mm with a #12 beading needle.

I created a Right Angle Weave using a base ring of four pearls then adding in three at a time until I reached the desired length.  I then went back in and added 4mm round A/B finished Swarovski clear crystals and 4mm bicone Crystazzi Light Sapphire crystals.

I added in dangles along the sides using 10x8mm Crystazzi Dark Sapphire and Clear A/B tear drops accented with 4mm bicone Crystazzi Light Sapphire crystals and 4mm bicone A/B clear crystals. I draped a Sterling Silver link chain from the Elegance Metal line in the design.

Bit by bit, it all came together.  I continued to add in various colored glass pearls, crystals, and even some Jewelry Basics acrylic beads.