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Showing posts from May, 2008

Antique and trade bead suppliers

African Accents Beautiful handmade beads available from a number of African nations Rita Okrent Ancient and ethnographic beads. Sadly, Rita died in 2005, but her website is remaining open. African Crafts A wide selection of African trade beads Crazy Crow Native American and mountain man style beadwork supplies I have no affiliation with any of these sites.

Making an assemblage style necklace

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Time Introduction Parlsey, Sage, Rosemary and TIME began with a vintage fur clip. Too interesting to throw away, but patinaed with age and not in good enough shape to be used as is. It had some lovely large deep aqua rhinestones which I knew would match some other beads and flatbacks I already had. Staying with the floral theme suggested by the clip proved to be more difficult than I expected! I auditioned quite a few charms, found objects, and broken bits before the broken watch pieces caught my eye. Here was the answer! The watch parts were also worn and stained with time, like the clip. Juxtaposing those parts with some sparkly flatback acrylic "stones" would echo the stain and sparkle of the clip. Maybe you have a piece like my fur clip, just begging to be given new life as the focal piece of a treasure necklace. You don't have to make your necklace as massive as mine turned out. In fact, I'll warn you ~ this piece is heavy!

Do you want to design for yourself? Materials

Materials: Building a palette I usually like to build my working palette and choose my materials after I’ve decided upon focal point, theme, and color, but it can be fun to try it the other way around. Some designers like to use this method most of the time, sorting through their beads and treasures, and letting the raw materials "tell" them what to choose. I’ve personally never had the stones speak to me. My more practical method to building a palette works well for me, whether it is my first step or somewhere further down the designing road. I’ll share it with you in case you want to give it a try. I usually take my focal piece (or the first item to catch my fancy if I haven’t chosen a focal piece yet) and place it on a white towel. After gathering up all the possible beads, stones, buttons, and other treasures that might look good, I "audition" them by laying out small piles of each candidate near the focal pieces. Keeping my theme in mind as well - if I’ve alrea

Do you want to design for yourself? Color scheme

Color Scheme: So many colors, so little time Color is one of the basic elements of design, and many designers start off with just knowing that they want to make something purple. Or green. Or green and gold. Choosing your color scheme first is a perfectly natural pathway into designing. You might find that making your color decisions overlap your decisions about focal point or theme. Sometimes the focal point and color scheme develop together, one from another. Other times your theme will suggest or limit a color scheme. And still other times…you just simply want to make something purple. It’s all good. Usually I will choose the focal piece first and let the color scheme develop from that, but I’ve certainly also been known to do it the other way around. This piece is an example. I was participating in a year-long project headed up by Dulcey Heller and Mary Elter, called Bead Art Exploration . One of our assignments was to pick a color scheme that we wouldn’t normally use. Nomadic Trea

Swarovski crystal suppliers

Nothing even comes close to comparing with the sparkle and beauty and color selection of real Swarovski crystals. Many other faceted beads are called “crystal”, but true crystal glass has a high lead content that gives it that extra shine. Here are a couple of good sources for all the colors and styles of Swarovski crystals: The Beadin’ Path Many vintage and hard-to-find styles Jewerly Supply An amazing selection Best Buy Beads All the contemporary shapes and colors Rainbows of Light Incredible selection and organization Create Your Style Swarovski’s own site, with design ideas, a design tool, links to events and stores Bead Stuff Fabulous color and shape charts Jerry Smith Beads Charts and easy shopping Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Turning a geode into a beaded pendant

On a trip to Arizona, I found some small cut geodes in a gift shop and promptly bought ten, having no clear idea what I was planning to do with them. Looking at them later, I decided to make a freeform beaded setting, which would cover the less-attractive back and leave the cut and polished flat side exposed. Since the first geode I chose to work with was small (the cut face is 1 by 1 ½ inches), I decided to turn it into a pendant. Here are the basic steps that I took to create the beaded pendant shown above. With a few modifications, the freeform beaded setting could be adapted for use with any other small object that you wished to encase ~ a small slab of agate, a found object, etc. The instructions for a simple spiral beaded rope to hang your pendant on are also included. Materials: Small geode (not bigger than 1 ½ inch diameter recommended) Variety of seed beads, delicas, and tube beads in chosen palette A few 3-4 mm crystals, druks, pearls, stones, etc in chosen palette Four to

Do you want to design for yourself? Theme

Theme: Your guiding concept Suppose that you have an idea or a concept that won’t leave you alone…you just must design something with that theme in mind, but you can’t find the notion of theme on your list of design elements and principles? Never fear, theme is a wonderful potential pathway into designing. Many many of my necklaces started out as a concept or theme, and then hung around my brain or notebook just waiting until the right focal pieces and materials fell into place. I made several Hand of God necklaces that started out this way. Here’s one: For Such a Time as This I knew what I wanted this necklace to convey long before I had the items to make it. In this case, I made the focal beads specifically for the necklace, after having chosen the name and all the symbols that would be included, including the colors. When you chose to enter a contest, you are often called upon to create something to fit a theme. This is a great way to stretch your creativity, but you can easily set

Artist Profile: C.A. Therien

Artist: Charlene (“Cat”) Therien Business name: C. A. Therien Polymer Clay Arts Location: Peoria, IL, USA Website: C. A. Therien Polymer Clay Arts How do you describe your polymer clay work to people, Cat? Well, that’s a good question. I tend to try a lot of different ideas and styles. However, a majority of my work is feminine and floral. I’ve loved flowers ever since I was a little girl, and quite a few of my pieces have millefiore flowers as the main subject. My earliest memory connected to flowers was at six years old. I noticed my neighbor’s geraniums and was fascinated by them. All through my childhood and into adulthood, flowers consistently surfaced in my creative hobbies, whether it was watercolors, salt dough, face painting, beading, embroidery, cake decorating, etc. What is your creative process like? My creative process has been in a constant state of evolution. I began working with polymer clay in 2001, greatly inspired by the work of Lisa Pavelka, Saraj

Book Review: Semiprecious Salvage

Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee This is a book for adventurers! With very little preliminary, other than a list of needed tools, the reader is launched right into the thick of creating. Stephanie Lee invites us to join her on an epic adventure, a journey that took place long ago and far away. As she journals her ethnographic and archeological finds, she introduces us to each new project. The book is divided into two parts: cold connections and flame joins. All techniques are well-explained and quite accessible for the person with some basic tools skills. This is an excellent inspiration book for those who would like to make found object jewelry, whether you have a little experience or a lot. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

The versatile spiral stitch

There are so many wonderful things that you can do with a basic spiral stitch. If you’ve never tried it before, start with the basic steps that I’ve illustrated below. After you have gotten the rhythm, let your imagination go wild! Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Repeat from Step 2 Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Do you want to design for yourself? Focal Point

Focal Point…show me where to look! Just as it does in a painting, the focal point in a wonderful piece of jewelry captures your gaze and directs your eye where to settle. Additional focal points can create a sense of movement by guiding your eye around a piece. Having a strong focal point can create a sense of dominance and unity in your piece. Choosing your focal point first is a common way to start for many designers: you have a beautiful cabochon, a treasured charm, or a stunning glass bead. It’s not good enough just to own this treasure…you want to be able to wear it! The greatest challenge in designing when you start with a focal point is to feature your speical item, show it off, without overwhelming it. I often start my own design work with a focal point. I am captivated by an object and it inspries me to build it a home. My Beaded Geode Pendant , shown above, is an example of following this pathway into design. The geode was beautiful and meaningful to me, but the back was ugly

Do you want to design for yourself?

A New Design Series Learning the basics of beading and jewelry making by following how-to instructions is a good way to develop a repertoire of techniques. But sooner or later, the day comes when you find yourself wondering if it would be ok to modify that pattern just a bit. As you tweak a bit here and a bit more there, you eventually end up abandoning other people’s patterns altogether. You’ve become a designer, an explorer of uncharted territory…and you are loving it!Whether you like to work intuitively or from a carefully structured plan, there is always a magical spark at some point that starts off your creative process. Maybe you simply feel the need for a green necklace to go with a specific dress. Or maybe you have picked up an incredibly cool ammonite fossil and you must figure out a way to wear it. Perhaps there is a new stitching technique that you’ve been wanting to try, or a song lyric is stuck in your head and needs to come out in another form. There are many differe