Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap and Blog Hop

Today is the reveal for the Bead Peeps Swap and Blog Hop!  My partner was Shai Williams.  I've "known" Shai in the cyber world for a while now, so was happy she was my partner.  This is what Shai sent to me.  Please visit Shai's blog to see what I sent her and what she made!

I've been quite over-extended this past month, and while I wanted to accomplish more with the beads she sent me, I just did not have enough time with the other obligations on my plate.  But I did manage to make three things.

First is a bracelet I made with the bracelet bar, some chain and the blue sea glass type beads from Shai.  I used one of my own lampwork beads and some brass filigree beads and Indian glass purple beads.  I have to say that I'm really not totally happy with it, and may play around later on when I have more time.

I also made earrings with these rough cut beads from Shai.  I used some brass tubes I had.  I wanted them to be longer, but the paddle headpins I had were kind of short, so I gave the earrings length with these ear wires!

Here's what took me so long to make - this awesome spiral stitched necklace used with the focal from Andrew Thornton!

 It was very fiddly - using the teardrop beads with the seed beads was a little bit of a challenge but I really like how it looks.  You can see in great detail in the photo below!

I really really want to make something with those blue teardrop beads, but can't think of anything yet.  Maybe I'll get some inspiration from your designs!

Thank you so much to Shai for being my partner and to Linda Anderson for being the host of this very large swap and blog hop!

Please check out what everyone else made by hopping along over the weekend!

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop 2015 
Partner List  

 Our Hostess: Linda Anderson from http//

Linda Anderson
Marica Zammit

Linda Anderson
Jessica Hocutt

Kristina Hahn Eleniak
Debbie Jeffries http://wordpress/debrasdivinedesigns/

Rosantia Petkova
Shalini Austin

Catherine La Vite
Annica Larsson

Lori Schneider
Divya N

Mowse Doyle
Fay Wolfenden

Kathy Lindemer
Claire Fabian

Janice Warden Bergeron
Natalie Davidson

Deb Fortin
Inge von Roos

Karen Mitchell
Robin Reed

Marie Covert
Alicia Marinache

Nan Smith
Johana Nunez

Kelly Hosford Patterson
Lori Blanchard

Sue  Kennedy
Shai Williams

Niky Sayers
Melissa Trudinger

Candida Castleberry
Erin Guest

Nicole Rennell
Ien Temaluru

Robin Showstack
Sam Waghorn

Marianne Baxter
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca

Shai Williams
Lee Koopman

Jayne Capps
Marti Conrad

Tina Bosh
Eleanor Thomas

Jeanne Steck
Gloria Allen

Rachel Mallis!blog/c1jlz
Andrea Glick

Stephanie Stamper
Chris Haussler

Betony Maiden
Kari Asbury

Jenny Kyrlach
Colleen Foley

Marybeth Rich
Marcy Lamberson

Dyanne Everett-Cantrell
Ginny Lones

Maria Rosa Sharrow
Loretta Carstensen

Dolores Raml
Michelle McCarthy

Louise McCormick-Glazier
Heather Richter

Tammy Adams
Shirley Moore

Seed Beaders

Susanne Stelljes
Sheila Prosterman

Pallavi Asher
Jami Shipp

Peggy Kosier
Andra Weber

Catherine King
Krafty Max

Sierra Barrett
Lois Sherwood

Katy Heider
Rebecca Robertson   (White)

Heather Richter
Brandy Collier

Stephanie Haussler
Lori Blanchard

Kathleen Breeding
Becky Pancake

Renetha Stanziano
Tami Norris

Ginger Bishop
Peggy Johnson

Friday, May 1, 2015

Beading Back in Time Blog Hop

This is the second installment of the yearly Beading Back in Time blog group.  This quarter, the challenge was Early Human - make something that connects to the Early Human time period in the Earth's history.

I was inspired by the Chauvet and Lascaux cave drawings in France but wanted to relate to the United States, so I studied Native American cave drawings.  I searched many web sites and google images and came up with the following cabochons.

These are the ones I am happy with.  Clearly my stringer control needs some work, but I think I did pretty good on these ones.  I did, however, run out of propane in the middle of doing one of the cabochons and it turned into a disaster!

The big blob was supposed to be the sun, but as I was making the cabochon, my propane was running out and totally fried the cab. The animal is supposed to be a caribou or deer or something, but just looks terrible.  I'll be practicing these!

Have fun checking out what everyone else made in the Beading Back in Time group!

Lindsay Starr, Phantasm Creations:
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame:

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Amethyst Aether Blog Hop

I'm getting this up really late because I'm just really over-extended right now, but I was part of a challenge with Andrew Thornton - he sold kids with gorgeous beads called Amethyst Aether.  He did send along a wonderful polymer clay super-secret pendant he made for everyone, but I didn't get a chance to use it yet.  But here's the beads, and what I made!

The beads are all so gorgeous, I wanted to use them all.  I do have plans for the rest, but here's what I got accomplished. First, these earrings.  These beads all just wanted to be together, so I let them!

 Next, I knew I wanted to use these totally gorgeous stick beads in a necklace, and so I made a multi-strand necklace using all the beads I possibly could from the luxury mix.  I do like how it turned out!

Now, if I ever get around to making more things, I will let you know!  Thanks for sponsoring this challenge Andrew!  Sorry I'm late with the post!

April Component of the Month - Rebekah Payne

It's yet the end of another month, and that means it's the reveal day for the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month. For April, Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio provided us with these cute little polymer hearts! If you love them, she has them available in her shop!

I asked Rebekah to send me a surprise, and I received a copper one!

As usual, I stared at the bead, stumped, for the better part of the month.  Feeling under the gun with many blog and personal and work deadlines, I was finally able to come up with what I wanted to make after looking at another piece I had made quite a long time ago!

These stone beads caught my eye on my dresser, and that was it.  I knew what I was going to make!  They match perfectly with the heart!  I added some pretty copper accent beads, and a copper clasp.

I'm really happy with the way this came out!  I will happily be wearing it!  Thank you so much Rebekah for another month of inspiration!

Check out what everyone else made with their little heart!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Free Lampwork Tutorial - Faux Aqua Terra Jasper

It's hard when I write for another blog to keep up with this one.  I published this tutorial a couple days ago on the AJE blog and thought you might want to see it here!

Waaaay back in the beginning of 2009, I saw a photo of a jasper called aqua terra!  I loved it.  I had to make it into lampwork beads!  This is a photo of the first set of Silvered Aqua Terra beads I sold on etsy in January 2009!

My first Aqua Terra beads on Etsy, Jan. 2009

I thought today I'd give you a tutorial of how to make your own, if you're a lampworker!

Materials Needed:

Rod of Light Ivory (Effetre)
Rod of Light Teal (Effetre)
Sheet of Silver Foil
Marver of your choice
Bead Press of your choice

First, cut your silver foil.  I cut the sheet in eighths.  This gives a nice portion of silver foil for an 18mm size bead.
Cut your silver sheet into eighths.

Next, get your bead press ready.  In this example, I am using a Zoozii's straight-sided lentil press, the middle 18mm size.
Get your bead press tool ready!

First, wind your footprint onto your coated mandrel.  Wind it on and hold it above your press, to make sure you are slightly smaller than the diameter of the well you are using.
Gather your glass on your prepared mandrel.
Check the fit of the glass in the well.

I usually roll the gather of glass in the well to make sure there's enough/not too much glass and to get the general shape of an olive. If you need to, add or take away glass.
Add more glass if needed.

Once you have enough glass, leaving enough room to add a little bit more, make your initial press.  Don't do it so hard that you break your bead release.
Check your glass in the well again.

You do not have to press your glass into the lentil shape if you think you have enough glass - if you aren't sure you can press the shape.
Press into your shape to make sure you have enough/not too much glass.

At this point, you can take your glass blob back to an olive shape, As you can see, I have my silver foil all ready and waiting for me!  Next, you want to slightly heat your glass and roll it in the silver foil, making sure to go all the way around the glass.
 Wrap your glass with a piece of silver foil.

Next, burnish in the foil.  Burnishing is rubbing the foil into the glass so it sticks very well.  You can do this with a tile, a marver, or your torch mounted marver.
Burnish the silver foil into the glass.

Then, you want to put your blob back in the flame, and you slightly melt off the silver foil.  This is what it looks like after you burnish and put the glass back in the flame.
Melt the silver foil into the glass at the top end of the flame.

Now, you want to add some squiggles of light teal.  As much or as little as you want, keeping in mind you are going to have to press the glass again and don't want to have too much.  You can always add more teal, it's harder at this point to take it away!
Add teal glass to silvered glass.

Melt in the teal and press the bead again in the bead press.  You can see from the photo below that you will have some chill marks (chill marks are the marks you get on your bead when you press it, and as the bead cools very quickly in the press, you get marks from the press).
Press your bead, check for chill marks.

Flame polish your bead to get rid of the chill marks.  If you flame polish too heavily and lose definition on your bead, you may want to heat, press again, and then flame polish again.
Flame polish bead, put in the kiln!

This is the finished bead!  Of course you can do these beads in many shapes, as I show below.

 Bicone-shaped aqua terra beads
 Lentil-shaped aqua terra beads
 Ribbed round-shaped aqua terra beads

You can visit my SueBeads etsy store to purchase these beads if you're not a lampworker! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Exploring Spiral Stitch and What's New, a repost from AJE

I thought I'd share this post with you here on my personal blog, in case you didn't get to see it on the AJE blog.

It's just been too cold to make beads in my basement, so I have been concentrating on making beaded ropes with spiral stitch.  In addition, I've been exploring texture within the spiral stitch rope and using different clasps.  I thought I'd show you some of my experimentation today!

The very first spiral stitch rope I worked on is in the larger photo - I used an awesome cab by Diana Ptaszynski, and the colors I used were perfect!  I then made spiral stitch ropes to go with my own ammonite cab, my own lampwork heart bead, and ceramic pendants by Diana and Lesley Watt. I love how they all turned out. They were all made using only size 11 beads in two colors, with the exception of the one I made with my lampwork heart - I used one single color on that rope, and although it's hard to see, the beads have a really great rainbow effect.

In this photo above, you can see what pattern you get when you use only size 11 seed beads.  This is pretty basic, easy to stitch up, and fun to do.  You can get a lot done in a short period of time!

I decided I wanted some more texture in my spiral ropes, so for the next two pendants (from White Clover Kiln) I used size 11s as the base row, and used a pattern of a 15, a 15, an 8, a 15 and a 15 for the spiral row.  I also used buttons for the closures this time, instead of toggle clasps. The first button was a sort of flower pewter design that matched the pendant, and the second button was an antiqued copper button that matches the color in the pendant perfectly!

 In the photo above, you can see the texture that the different size beads lend to the design.
These two photos are closeups of the pattern of beads and the texture.  You can achieve awesome looks with this pattern - imagine how many combinations of bead colors you could use!
I think right now, this is my favorite pattern for spiral stitch!

Finally, I used a base row of 8s and a spiral row of 4 11s in this example that was my CoM for February from Melissa Meman.  I love the colors I used, and I love the angelite I used to accent Melissa's wonderful copper clay pendant.  However, the stitch of using 8s and 11s is too loose for me; I maybe have a control issue, because I just can't stand the looseness of this pattern.
The spiral row just doesn't lay nicely on the 8s based on the pattern of three size 8 seed beads and four size 11 seed beads.  This pattern was learned from Jill Wiseman's Beaded Ropes book - I think it would be better if I hadn't followed the directions exactly and instead of going through three size 8 beads whenever I was stitching a new row, I should have gone through 4 size 8 beads.  I think that would have made the stitch tighter.  I'll try that if I ever do another rope in this pattern of beads.

Finally, I made some clasps and bead caps the other day, so I thought I'd show you a photo of them!  I was pretty happy with the way they turned out! These are the bead caps - I made them out of the cutout section of the clasps!  I textured them, punched the holes, dapped them, antiqued with liver of sulpher, and then tumbled for a couple of hours. I love the heft and richness!  I will be making more for sale in my etsy store.

I was clasp deficient, so I made some copper clasps.  I punched them out with my pepe disc cutter, punched the middles out, textured, dapped, antiqued and tumbled.  The toggle bars are made from FREE 12 gauge electrical wire I got from Jason from a job we were doing - I formed them, hammered the ends, antiqued and tumbled these as well.  I love how the hammered ends look.  Two sizes will also be available in my etsy shop too!
And finally, my next project - this clasp held an envelope together on a card Jason got me for Valentine's Day!  It's all the more special because we were in Sint Maarten when he gave it to me (Dutch side).
And here's the necklace I made with it! I used some of my favorite beads, turquoise teardrops, turquoise tubes and freshwater pearls, separated by silver beads.  I used two figure 8 connectors to connect it to the heart. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out! 

Thanks for stopping by today and seeing what I've been up to since I haven't been making glass beads.  Are you learning anything new?

Susan Kennedy
SueBeads Etsy Store
SueBeads Web Site
SueBeads Blog