Sunday, 29 January 2012

January Blues

I find January a tough month! After my birthday at the beginning it can get a bit dreary, and I do find myself 'comfort buying' beads! This month I have indulged in some nice tutorials from Nancy Dale and Debbie Van Tonder. Nancy's 'Diamonds are Forever' has been highly recommended by my beady friend Jo, as 'Unputdownable', and Debbie's Tila bangles looked such fun I had to buy some Tilas from Rachel at RB Beads specially to try them. So far I have made one 'Zoe' and one 'Joan of Arc'. As my hand and wrist are small, I can get one of each style from a 10g pack of Tila beads! The 'Diamonds' design is waiting until I get the 3mm pearls from JBS. I've also bought a lovely Regency Rose agate cabochon from Designer Cabochons, so I'm waiting for the muse to come up with a design for that!

I did finish the Moonshadow necklace, and was really pleased with it, and myself. Now I just need a special occasion at which to wear it!

Well I now have to wait till payday for any more self-indulgence. I also have a special beady treat coming up in March, of which more later!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Unfinished Object

Sarah from OTTBS suggested we should examine our beady UFO's or unfinished objects, and pick one to either complete or dismantle with a deadline of the end of January. Well, I have a lot of projects where I started with enthusiasm and then ground to a halt, so I thought this would be a good challenge for me. I chose the Jill Devon Moonshadow necklace the pattern of which I bought last Spring, and worked at on and off throughout the year, changing the rivolis a couple of times. I finally got the main part assembled in August 2011 and there it has sat ever since:

I am optimistic that I shall be able to get this finished, just two sections of twisted herringbone rope to make and a double toggle fastening. The colours I chose for the rope just weren't working but I think my 3rd variation is the right one! Likewise I am fairly sure I won't be dismantling it as there are a few hours of work in there... This is probably my favourite palette of colours for jewellery I wear myself, so next I shall have to plan an occasion to wear this piece!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Hello and welcome new followers! It is now well and truly 2012, and I hope it is a good year for all.

Beadwise I have slowed down a little, with the return to work, but have a new project underway. This uses one of the Czech buttons, gifted to me by Nancy Dale of NEDBeads. The clear button with AB finish presented several challenges: trying to keep both the transparency and the flash of lilac colour displayed to their best advantage meant I experimented with backing, finally using pearl grey Ultrasuede. The button itself had a self shank (ie one cast in glass, integral with the button face). I have sent a spare button to have a shank removed by a stained glass cutter, but wanted to try this one without alteration. I cut 2 donut shapes from the Ultrasuede and glued them on the back of the button using BOND 427 adhesive. When dry I cut another circle of Ultrasuede to fit the entire back and glued that over all (it was initially slightly larger then trimmed back with sharp scissors). Bezelling was done using transparent size 11 cylinder beads (Toho transparent crystal) with gilt lined alabaster size 15 (Miyuki) and transparent AB Czech charlottes to pull in. An extra row of very tiny silver plated charlottes was used on the back to really tighten the bezel. I added a 4 bead wide bail for hanging as a pendant

I like the way the AB finish really shoots colour over the piece...for something made of predominantly transparent glass it is very colourful! Next I decided to embellish the bezel, I checked my stash and found a small number of white opal bicones, not enough to do a full round on point, so I made a variation of the looped embellishment from the Auricula pendant. I used Miyuki 2211 (white lined pale lavender AB) as these toned beautifully with the button.

The same 11s and delicas were used for a 4 bead twisted herringbone rope which echos the swirls on the button and bezel. All that's left to do is to make a suitable toggle clasp for the ends of the rope...I'm having thoughts about making a twisted toggle bar, but it hasn't quite worked yet...

Any ideas for a name for this piece?