Thursday, December 2, 2010


This month the 'creativity prompt' from A Creative Dream was "RED". Simple....just a word....but what to do with this?

'Twas a busy month....and by the time I got seriously thinking about this, the month was nearly over...but I decided to try. I had found instructions to make a beaded bead ( I LOVE beaded beads!) out of Swarovski crystal beads.....and had to try it. This would be perfect for my 'red' entry....

I worked and worked.....and failed and failed....funny how the stuff I really, really want to learn is only done so by LOTS of trial and error....mostly error! Of course, some of it was not having the proper supplies....first try I used beading wire - granted, it was very flexible....but too heavy, and I didn't like the result. Ok....on to beading thread....this I could color coordinate....but this time, I think it was too light, and would NOT make a nice tight bead. Sigh....

Off to Wal-Mart....and the sporting goods aisle....needed to actually get some fishline. The video I watched to learn the technique (right-angle weave) used 10-lb fishline. Have no idea what that meant....but all the 10 lb fishline at Walmart was, blue, red....who knew? So - I settled for 8 lb line that was clear.....and what a bargain this stuff is! I got 700 yards of fishline for $2.50! That is a LOT of fishline!

But....would it work? Yes! Yes! Took some getting used to....and a magnifying glass....being clear is a detriment to finding and getting the ends through the crystal! But, I persevered....and got them made! YAY! turn this pretty little orbs into earrings....easy, right? Not so the center of the bead is essentially hollow - a regular headpin had to be placed very carefully, so it doesn't pull right through....but oh, how pretty they were! I have since tried other methods of attaching the crystal beads...and am quite enchanted by all the possibilities.....

My photography has a LOT to learn...but I was doing this in laughable circumstances, which I will never tell about....but scanning made the orbs flat....not good. are the earrings.....please forgive the photos....hope to get better than this quickly!


This was such fun....and opened up a whole new area of creativity for me....and that's what it's all about, right?

Can't wait for the December prompt!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This Is Just So Cool!!

I found this really cool make word "clouds" - and I just had to share it. The website is called Wordle and you can either make up your own - or as I'm going to show you - I put in the address of my blog here....and it made one for me from the text on the blog!

I didn't care for the colors they had available....but you can make a custom palette...then do a "print screen' and paste it into a graphics editing program (Paint, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop) and edit it......til it's all ready to put up:

Is that not just the neatest thing?!
Ok....I'll go quietly now....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Now I Can Show the Prize!

A while back I posted about my tiny pearl beads - and what to do with them - here's the post -
and I did have a dear friend Barbara. She decided that she wanted girly - pink earrings for her prize - which I made and sent to her.

She really liked them, and is going to give them as a gift....somehow I love that idea too! I didn't want to put them on here until she had received them. Now, she has, and I can now show you what I made....

The bugle beads for these were the prettiest shade of raspberry pink, and the seed beads a pale pastel pink. The 'fringe' beads were a frosted iridescent pinky-lavender, and set the earrings off just right! I was very pleased with them, and think they made a nice prize!

While I was playing around with seed beads....which seem really large compared to the Delica beads I usually use, I decided to try my hand and a stitch I hadn't tried in a long time - the daisy chain stitch. For each motif, I used a different color seed bead - and the color bead that was in the center of the 'daisy' was the same one used for the next flower. I like the pastel effect....

I deliberately made this necklace short....I wanted it to be a 'choker' style necklace - being right up around your neck shows off the tiny flowers, and it is so light, you hardly know you have it on! I did make a ring to match - but trying to scan it on my finger - one hand in the scanner, the other on the keyboard....ah....doesn't work so well...

Now trying out some variations on a theme.....single color flowers - or making two strands of them...longer and twined around each other, with maybe a pretty focal bead...hmmm....
stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Under the Deadline....

I knew kind of what I wanted to do for this month's challenge from the A Creative Dreamer blog. The creative prompt was "Transitions"....which basically is moving from one state to another.

So...I had some drawings, long on my fridge, drawn by my youngest age 10, one age 6. They were each so like the child-artist that created them that I wanted to find a way to keep them forever. I decided that the transition would be from paper art to a lovely piece of beautiful jewelry.

The beginning.....the drawings themselves:

The above drawing was from the older of the granddaughters - when she was learning to use the computer. She created this wonderful colorful design, which I have always loved!

This one created by the younger granddaugher-artist, is more pastel, but equally beautiful - and she even put "Grama" in the design. A treasure indeed!

I took the designs, shrunk them WAY down - til they were just over an inch high and wide. I placed pretty twisted silver links over them, glued them down, and then filled the interior with glaze. It didn't turn out as 'raised' as I would have liked, but still made the designs even more vivid.

I colored the backs of the paper, then glued the two drawings, with the circle links together, to make a two-sided pendant. I then took a needle tool and made a hole just large enough for a sterling silver jumpring - and viola! Ready to put on a chain, ribbon, leather....whatever I decide to complete the look for the mood I'm in when I wear it.

This is the one side.....the ruler is there so you can see the actual size....

And this is the other side - I don't think that either side is the "front" or "back" - they are equally lovely and will be such a joy to wear!

I think the "Transition" went really, really well!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Couple of these going on this week! Both of them are also unintended consequences (I think) from the Lymphoma that was conquered (thank YOU God!) last now I have a running start on the rest of my life!

The health milestone was the repair (yesterday) of a small but very painful hernia that dates back to a surgery years ago, and brought to the painful forefront by my swollen spleen earlier this year. Thankfully, this was taken care of in record time, and although it is still sore, I know it's just a blip on my radar this week, and I'll be back to total health by next week! God has blessed me so much getting me through every single health problem this year, that I know there is smooth sailing ahead!

The other milestone was more of a 'crafty' one, and one that brings me much renewed joy! All through the sessions of chemotherapy, one of the 'unintended consequences' of that was the persistent 'tingly' feeling in my feet and fingertips. The ignorable and is slowly improving, but the fingertip thing....oooh, that was a problem. I love working with tiny beads...the tinier the better. Seed beads to me are on the large end! I love Delica beads, and we are talking very small.....and I have now purchased my first tube of size 15 beads...the very smallest of all.

And, why, do you ask? Because oh joy.....the tingling has dissipated (again thank YOU God!), and now I can feel the little beads as I pick them up, and I can hold on to them, and again created little 'pretties' with them. I cannot even tell you how this just filled me with happiness! test for myself was to make a couple of my little 'hope-levopes', just to see if I could...these are made with Delica beads in a peyote stitch, and in the end, there is a tiny envelope, just big enough to tuck a Bible verse into, or other tiny treasures. They are meant to be the 'focal' bead on a necklace - haven't gotten to that part yet, but wanted to share this 'milestone' with you!

Here is the first one.....made with white and grey beads....the white ones have a 'rainbow' finish on them, and the grey ones are a matte finish. This doesn't come through as well as I wish in the pictures, but the contrast in texture is very pleasing to me....I ended it with a 4 mm black diamond Swarovski crystal bicone bead....a bit of sparkly to close the envelope!
I will be attaching it to a chain (still working on the design of that), but it will hang from a corner....I like things on the diagonal!

This shows the 'hope-velope' opened up, so you can see the relative can slip a dime in there with just a bit of room left over!

The second photo shows this little beaded pretty in the closed position - the weight of the little crystal bead keeps the flap closed, as well as the natural way the bead pattern falls - it folds naturally on the horizontal.

Once this one was made, I thought...hmmmm.. want to make it a little smaller! So, using less beads, and going to a random mix of four different shades and finishes of purple beads, this one was so pleasing to my eye! I love the mixture of colors - all in the same palette - in this random stripey pattern. This time I used a 'purple velvet' crystal bead as the closure, and this will be the first on to be put on a chain....a dime will not quite fit in this little guy, but Bible verses are always the right size!

Such a joy to be back working with these little beads....! More to come.....stay tuned!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Goodies and the Give-away!

I made one more version of the fringe earrings - and needed to post them first....for it might have a bearing on the rest of the post!

These are a combination of chalk white bugle beads, and pale yellow seed beads...with alternating crystal AB finish and jonquil yellow crystal bicone beads - a nice light, lemony look, and I like it! No earwires yet..when they sell, I'll add the sterling silver french earwires.
At any they are: the give-away, and the result of the suggestions.....

My last post asked for ideas on what to do with the tiny pearl beads I had purchased....and the winning suggestion would win a pair of fringe earrings - sent to them at my expense as a 'thank-you' for the suggestion! I am so pleased that my dear friend from around the internet - Barbara Y. - is the winner. I am again reminded that it IS possible to be very good friends with folks you have never met 'in person' - just based on like values and compatible character. I have emailed Barbara, and will send off which ever of the colors of fringe earrings she would like, soon as she lets me know!

Now....her suggestion was was to make a 'multi-strand' bracelet with the beads. Wow! I had never tried anything 'multi-stranded' before, so this was going to be something new! I am not much of a fan of stringing beads - have never really mastered the art of crimping the skinny thread that has to be used to get thru the holes in pearls. to approach it? Ah....I would make individual components of wire and connect them together. I did have some nice double strand ends I could use....and in looking around...came across another of my favorites, tiny little hummingbird beads. I have used these before, and they lift my spirits just looking at them!

I alternated the components - three pearl beads on one, a hummingbird bead fromed with the pearl beads on the next.....connected with Argentium sterling silver jump rings.

Being a bracelet, and not being too heavy, I decided to go with a magnetic clasp - making it very easy to put on and take off. Nothing worse than struggling with a clasp you have to open and then hook to a tiny ring....grrrr...been there, done that!

Now that it is done, I am really pleased with it....and liking the look of the double, thanks to Barbara, I have a new design, tried a new technique, and made a piece I don't make very often.....and that's a very good thing!

Without further it is... the picture does not really show the slight iridescent shading on the pearl and purple and flashes of silver....tiny....but pretty!

Have more goodies to show....but they will have to wait for another deserves its it is a bit of a milestone!

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Challenges and More Goodies

It was SO cool the other day to find the "Big Reveal" of all the folks who were part of the "Dream" challenge on A Creative Dream I was astounded at the variety of expressions of the prompt, and was thrilled to see my own creations there! Go over and take a look at all the wonderful things!

She also sent out the prompt for August - it is "Transition"....and I already have an idea to make for this one!

Meantime - even though I have lost the tumbler and my magnifying lamp - I donned a pair of 'Dollar Trees' glasses, and did a couple more variations on the Fringe are a couple of different colors.....sans findings...they will eventually have sterling silver french earwires....but I wanted to share the beadwork now!

Then I had another idea.....born of necessity....I ran out of the little 'dagger beads' that form the 'fringe' part of the earrings - and thought.....hmmmmm...what if I replaced the dagger beads with 4mm Swarovski bicone crystal I did!
Here they are:

I am totally loving how this looks! Makes them a tad more expensive - adding the 14 crystal beads - but also upgrades the entire look, from casual to more elegant!

So that's the skinny from the studio, back to work on other things I put off to do this!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Show and Tell...

Not sure what is going on with my crafting equipment....the revenge of the machines? A few days ago, my tumbler quit....the little roller part that makes the tumbling chamber go round and round literally melted off. Guess it just couldn't stand the combination of the hours of tumbling, and the temperature of the studio when I'm not in there....gets right toasty! tumbling - no pretty copper jump rings shiny as a new that gets put on hold. I tried going back to the low-tech way of cleaning them up....salt and vinegar...but didn't get them clean and shiny enough for me to use....

Of course, the sites that sell the tumbler do NOT sell any replacement parts, even though the google search says they! Their idea of replacement parts is extra tumbling medium and rocks. Hoping my hubby can fix this and make it all new again!

Today, I went out to the studio....and there across my work station that I am using lay my lamp on its extension arm. Now this is not just a lamp....the lamp also has a large magnifying class in the center - makes it just marvelous to use to work on tiny favorite kind of there a message here? The block that holds the entire lamp, and clamps on to the counter top just split in half...or is split and bent at a very odd angle.....not gonna go back where it was.

But, I soldiered on....I promised a picture of the tiny dark iridescent blue pearl beads....guess they are what's called a 'potato' shape....kind of irregular....but that appeals to me. They are small - I forgot to put a dime or something in the picture to give it some kind of scale....but each one is about half the size of a pencil eraser....maybe a little smaller.
Here they are:

Open to any suggestions as to what I should make with these. This is only part of what I have....there are probably three times the amount shown in the picture. Can't wait to read what you think these beads should become!

Also....the person whose idea I decide to use will receive a pair of fringe earrings. And...for those who don't know what it is that I call 'fringe earrings' - here is a pair...I make several versions of these, but the basic shape and kind of beads is what is shown here....the pair shown are a pretty iridescent (love that shimmery color!) pinky-lavender...and the design is one of my favorites....

Here's your chance to own a pair of these - which normally sell for $15.00 - gratis! Free shipping too! Who can resist that? Bring on the suggestions!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Building On Ideas...

After talking about my idea to continue the design of the "Dream" earrings, using warmer colors.....I did! Looked through my stash of pretty crystal bicone beads, and picked out some warm colors....jonquil yellow, crystal AB, Antique Rose, Copper, and Ruby Red....and put this combination on graduated lengths of silver-plated chain....put all the chains on a large jump ring, which I strung through a silver bail....really like that look! As usual, the earrings are all on sterling silver french hooks - and I'm likin' the warm colors just as much as the cool ones I made earlier....

These are also $20.00, and if you would like them....send me an email at trysh *at* gmail *dot* know to remove the asterisks in the address :-). I will then send you a Paypal invoice, and ship them out as soon as payment is credited to my account. I make no money on the shipping - what I am charged, I just pass on...

That are the "Dream" earrings in warm colors:

Since I was on a roll, I decided to keep going and finish up another idea I floated out here on this create a necklace to complement my "Sunshine" earrings....I had actually started it - but was hesitant to put the design on a copper chain....seems that lots of folks might have a skin reaction to copper - even though most copper jewelry findings now have a coating on it that not only helps prevent tarnish, but also helps with the reactions.

But...the perception is there - so I decided to try and put it on leather....and that worked out really well! The black of the leather actually made the copper and the mother-of-pearl disc beads pop out! Love it. I used a 'trailer hitch' clasp - it is just the simplest one to use...and I also liked it for this design.

The price on this is $20.00 - just refer to the directions above if this design strikes your fancy....

Here it is...

Now to do some thinking on what to do with the tiny pearl chips I got last week....what could I combine them with? Do earrings? A necklace? Bracelet?

Hmmm.....send me your thoughts on what I should do with the dark blue pearl nuggest (they are real small)....and win yourself a pair of fringe earrings! Don't know what they are? Come back tomorrow - I'll post a pair so you can see! Be sure and check back for details!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Warm and Cool...

After making the pretty crystal earrings for the "Dream" challenge, I decided to try another version of the same design. This time I used all 'cool' colors....starting with a dark blue, then crystal AB, sapphire blue, crystal AB again, and finishing up with purple velvet - and my, I do like that look! Of course I immediately thought of doing it yet again with warm colors - reds and yellows and coppers....stay tuned on that thought!

Here are the 'Cool Crystal' earrings:

If anyone is so inclined to purchase this pair of earrings - the price is $20.00 plus shipping - Send me an email at trysh *at* gmail *dot* com. I'll send you a Paypal invoice and once payment is received, I'll send them right out!

Last weekend I did get to a bead store (dangerous place for me....with wanting to get 'one of everything'!) - looking for more pastel freshwater pearls - which I didn't find, but did find some tiny iridescent dark blue pearl chips....and some pretty Mother of Pearl round disc beads. They reminded me of tiny suns....and today I played around with them and the copper wire. Got the earrings done, and am playing with the same components to make a choker necklace. Bit of sunshine for the now 'nice' warm weather!

Here they are:

Hmmm.....the photo doesn't do the beads justice - they are more 'goldy' color and the iridescent qualities don't come through at all....have to play with my photo editing and see if I can improve the picture. I really like all the different shapes of the copper in these...each shape has its own shade of copper color, subtle but pleasing!

If anyone is so inclined to purchase this pair of earrings - the price is $15.00 plus shipping - Send me an email at trysh *at* gmail *dot* com. I'll send you a Paypal invoice and once payment is received, I'll send them right out!

More to come.....stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Little Inspiration...

I have wanted to participate in a 'creative blog challenge' that is a feature of the blog
A Creative Dreamer

I didn't make it in June....just couldn't get any ideas at all....but that made me even more determined to try to do it in July - and this time the 'creative prompt' was "Dream". Now that was a really good one!

This was just as I received the wonderful news that my cancer is now in complete remission - so this really was a dream come true....thanks to God, the doctors, and all the prayers offered by all my friends.

So...I came up with a couple of designs - one in silver and pastels...freshwater pearls and silver just seemed so calm and a dream stirred by the clouds.... here is that design:

That was a good one.......but then I wanted to do one that was more of a 'dream come true' one....and all I could think of was fireworks.....which translated into various colors of Swarovski crystal beads on different lengths of fireworks falling from the sky... Here they are:

This was truly fun.....and stretched the imagination a little to come up with an idea prompted by a word....and one given by someone else....looking forward to doing this again in August!

Stay tuned....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some Copper Fun...

While trying to solve some problems making copper charms, I started playing around with different gauge copper wire....coiling it, hammering it....

I think that anyone who uses a hammer on a regular basis would crack up watching me with my tiny little anvil, and tiny hammer....but the wire coils are tiny too, and a big hammer is kinda overkill. So, I look silly, but that little hammer does a good job!

First I experimented with putting together different gauge coils in the same design....with small and smaller copper jump rings....liked how that looked, and couldn't resist adding some copper crystal bicone beads on long headpins - and liked that even more! These might become a favorite of mine!

Here they are:

That was such fun, I kept on going and tried doing scrolls - connected coils - I started out thinking bracelet - but then decided to stay small....I wear earrings more than bracelets, after all. Couldn't leave them totally plain - so I added some Swarovski glass pears drops - the creamy color goes well with copper!

Here is the second design:

But, this design would be very cool as a necklace with added dangles....little steampunk flavor I think....hmmmm.....I know exactly what I want to do here.....stay tuned!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sometimes Simple is Best...

I had a pair of pretty crystal heart beads - kept them for a long time, since they always reminded me of a lovely girl who tragically passed away.

After a time, I came across them again, and it just seemed right to make them into a pair of earrings for my friends's Mom....who is also a dear friend. I didn't think they needed any further embellishment, so I just put them on large silver jump rings and let them shine as is.

Here they are:

I love that the picture shows how these pretties have an inner glow - and I know they'll be so pretty when worn!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Some More Goodies

My, it sure is easy to let time get away from me! Been way too long since I posted....partly because of all that's going on....and partly because I'm trying to learn more about Photoshop...which I'm finding has a steep learning curve!

But I digress.....a while back I had seen a necklace using graduated lengths of chain as a foundation.....I really liked the look, and decided to use it to see what I could come up with...I used some really pretty pastel Antique Rose Swarovski bicone crystal beads, and as a focal piece, a little silver dragonfly. I love dragonflies, and this just set the whole design off! is the result:

Looks so pretty hanging from the silver plated chain.....and is just lovely when worn - really attracts attention!

Of course, such a pretty piece deserves a pair of earring to go with out came more crystal beads, and a couple more dragonflies....suspended on bits of chain....a perfect complement!

I am trying hard to get back into a 'crafting routine' - spending a bit of time out in the studio each (or most) day.....and there's more to show stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting Back Into It...

Wow - time flies! Can't believe the weeks have flown by...but I have been trying to get back in the crafting groove....

Have some crochet projects ready for photos....scanning them just won't work, and I want to be able to give the pattern instructions for at least one of stay tuned on that...

Meantime, on the jewelry front, I have done a bit more - using only what I have on hand. Amazing what you find when you start looking in all those little drawers in my 'organizers'!

I found some really cool faceted teardrop beads in one of those drawers, in a very deep dark blue....and just had to see what I could do with them....and trying to not be so precise with things....think a little out of the box on them. These beads are what are called "briolettes" in that they are side drilled near the top, and that presents a different challenge when creating the loop to attach to a finding. My solution this time was to take the long tail (left deliberately) from making the loop and continuing to wrap the wire down the top of the bead....and letting it wrap as it wanted, rather than forcing 'neatness'. I rather like how they turned out....

Here are the earrings:

Of course, I decided that these earrings really needed a necklace to go with them....hanging from a delicate long-and-short silvery chain, with a lobster clasp. Lovely!

More later.... can't wait to share with you!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crafts and the Chemo-brain...

Odd title that....but in my astonishment that - it has been since November since I posted here, that is the explanation.

About that calendar time last year I was blindsided by the diagnosis of B-cell Lymphoma, a very treatable, tho uncurable, form of blood cancer. 'Nuff said about you'd like to read about that particular journey of can check it out here:

This figures into my craft blog here in a rather disconcerting way....but I am working my way through that too. Besides the fatigue and general lack of energy that kept me from pursuing my crafts, there were unexpected side effects from some of the meds that are interfering too. I have discovered it is harder to concentrate, to focus for a long period of time....and that gets so frustrating - it was just easier to not start. Then a new of the meds can (not always - temporary hopefully - but maybe not) give one that 'tingly' - waking up after being asleep feeling in my feet and fingers. The feet tingling is a mere annoyance, and I have not problem just ignoring it....but the finger thing....which extends to the fingertips....that became a problem.

I love beading....and especially beading with Delica beads....and they are tiny. Ever tried to pick one of those up when your fingers are kinda numb and tingly at the same time. Uh...doesn't work too well. So, for a time, I just left the beading and wirework - meaning most of my jewelry making alone for a time....and concentrated on healing and doing things that didn't involve small!

That mostly was knitting and crocheting...there were several baby afghans to be made...and projects for myself (gasp!) that I'd just never finished...this was the time for that! So I have enjoyed doing that and learning to deal with the little glitches as I go along. You may see a couple (or more) original crochet designs on here a little later....I'm exploring making up my own patterns for things...kinda fun!

Lately tho, I have gotten the yen to get back in the studio and try working with some of my larger beads....not ready yet to tackle the Delicas again yet....but it's coming..I can tell! So, I've cleaned up the studio again ( a never-ending story) - and got out some sparkly beads....some pretty gemstone beads, and some cool glass coin beads....and came up with a few new things....and I like them!

First...the sparkly! A dear friend having 'gifted' me with some lovely crystal beads....I decided to see what I could put together...and combining them with some silvery bead caps and cool chain....came up with this:

These crystals are a light sapphire blue, with silver bead caps, and 4mm bi-cone crystals added as an embellishment. Turned out nice, I think!
My friend who 'gifted' me will shortly be 'gifted' back with these!

Another friend had given me some chandelier earring findings - not something I have ever gotten into....but since she was so kind to do this, I decided to see what I could find to add to the findings that would be pretty and 'summery'. Here's what evolved...

These are light green agate beads, with tiny light green crystal beads atop them, attached to the chandelier findings.

Lastly, I had earlier made myself some pretty earrings out of some blue glass discs - and had always wished I had made a necklace to here was my chance! Alternating the blue discs with the chain worked out really well - and I am loving the result! Can't wait to wear them together! No picture yet of the earrings - but I will get one and post it here....meantime, here is the necklace:

I may re-do this whole thing later......but here tis for now...