Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finger Paints

You might not believe this because I LOVE blue so much, but this bead is actually purple in real life. I just couldn't seem to capture it that way....

Even though this is the same bead as the orange sand art bead I mentioned recently, this one reminded me more of finger painting on the inside and that is ALWAYS fun!! I haven't fingerpainted for a very long time and I think it is time to do that! Good thing the weekend is near!!

Have a great evening!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nips Candy

Hello! Today's bead is reminiscent of the nips or caramel candies that have a sort of soft outer layer, but are actually hard candy. AND, boy are they sticky! I don't eat them anymore since I lost a bit of a tooth cap to one, but they are sooooo good! I loved this bead because it even looked sticky on the outside!! Isn't that funny?

It would be a lot of fun to collect a bunch of beads that look like hard candy and string them all together. Better not wear it if you are having a hankering for sweets though!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stately Column

I found quite a few of these in a bead mix and really loved the look of stately columns inside the bag. It reminded me of the buildings you see in Washington, DC and even the statehouse buildings in your local capital. OR, you could be thinking roman columns! Whichever it is, this bead would definitely give your creation some architectural definition and charm.

Let me know if you have created anything interesting with these, I would love to see them!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Nice Surprise Pendant

No matter what your age, a nice little surprise never fails to bring out a smile! I had no idea this pendant was hiding in a celophane package bead mix! I bought the mix for 4 other beads that I couldn't find anywhere else and when I opened the package and poured them all out I was so surprised! It was like cracker jacks without the calories!!

You really can't beat that! Now I need to come up with a great idea for using this. Since it has no hole drilled through it, I'd like to wire some little pearls to the top of the round opening and and maybe add some little crystals on twisted wire for added dimension. This would look nice as a slightly longer, mid-chest length necklace and would actually look great hanging on cording or that new rubbery tubing in an earth tone color. Yep, I can see it now! If only I could cross my arms and blink it into existence!!

Have a great evening!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vitrail Close-up

Hello and happy, sparkly Sunday!

It's a great day for some sparkle, so I wanted to share this very close up photo of a faceted vitrail bead. I find that focusing on sparkle on Sundays certainly helps and cannot hurt if you are trying to accomplish a million things before starting up another work week!

Focus on the sparkle, focus on the sparkle...See, doesn't that help improve your outlook!!

I found a great article about the different types of beads on Here is a direct link to the article. If you are interested in the site, just click on "home" once you have read the article.

I didn't realize "vitrail" was a type of coating, I thought it was a metal type coating on a particular color bead called "vitrail". Gee, it is true, you learn something new every day!

Hope you are having a great day!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Embellished Peyote

This week's bracelet is one that I made a few years ago and since it was part of my remaining inventory after I stopped doing craft shows, I was admiring it today and thought I would share it with you. I don't really mean that in an arrogant way, I mean that in a, "wow, I can't believe I really made that" way.

I saw a similar pattern in a bead and button magazine, possibly the stitches magazine and this is my interpretation. I used hematite and silver lined clear 3mm cubes for this diagonally stitched bracelet. The fun part is once you get the peyote completed you thread your needle back up and sew on the clasp and also start sewing on this fun embellishment along the edges. That was so much fun!

If you are interested in making one of these, let me know and I will dig up the magazine issue so you can track it down. It's worth the time and effort and learning experience. Now my only problem is, who can I gift this to? It about 8 inches long, so I need to think about that one.

I hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Funky Flower

I looked up funky in the dictionary and one of the definitions provided was, "Characterized by originality and modishness; unconventional". I would say this bead fits that definition, would you?

I've had a bunch of these for MANY years and just happened to come across them recently. It was only when I took the photo that I realized how cute they would be strung together since they give the illusion of interlocking. The stringing hole is through the tiny flower. What I once thought was odd, I now think is funky!

This is just another example of pre-judging something. Good thing I didn't throw them out! I am now looking forward to making something with them. They would make a cute choker! You could also make earrings and use them as sort of a chandelier component by dangling a few little crystals from each of the sections.

Wow, who'd of thought?

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fancy Swarovski Component

Hello! If you have never braved the world of swarovski components, I am here to tell you, go ahead...break out of your comfort zone. You might be thinking these make for "boring" or too much like "store bought" jewelry, but guess what?...You can be extremely creative with these pieces.

Just because this particular component in jet black seems to be made for simple 2 strand stringing projects, you can certainly think outside of that framework if you want to. These double strand components are very cool as necklace pendants by using just the top stringing hole for the necklace and then stringing another strand through the bottom and hanging anything you like from those ends!

The possibilities are only limited by our minds, isn't that awesome!!?

Have a great night!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Disco Fun

Hello! I wanted to show you the whole strand of these beads because they are so much more fun in a bunch! This is a plastic strand of top drilled disco ball faceted beads. The fun thing about them is no matter what other color of beads you put with these, they look great! That's commonly found with real glass crystals, but I was surprised to find this with plastic beads.

These would definitely be attention getting just because they are pretty large, probably at least 12mm. Check out JoAnn, etc. if you think these are cool!

Have a great evening!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sand Art Under Glass

Ooh, isn't this a cool bead? Sometimes I would like to crack beads open to see what's on the inside. This bead is like a little container of sand art. There are children's kits at the craft store that provide containers for layering different colors of sand to make decorative objects. This bead looks like someone poured layers of sand inside and sealed it up.

Wouldn't that be fun? Make your own beads by layering colored sand inside and then sealing it up?! Sounds like the beginning of a new product in the beading or arts and craft industry! If you know of such a thing, please let me know. I have only seen kits for kids.

Take care!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sesame Jasper

Isn't it funny that so many of us love rocks?! They might be in different formations, but rocks are still rocks. I actually enjoy looking at the bags of gravel at the home improvement stores. There are usually a few in there that are pretty or have just a little bit of sparkle to them.

This large pendant is probably about 30mm and if you look closely there's quite a bit to admire. It has both slight and extreme variations of color...great contrasts! I'd like to add a little bit of sparkle to this one, but I'm not sure how yet. I'm thinking about dangling just a couple tiny little crystals from the stringing hole at the top and then just putting it on a chain or cord. What about stringing the entire neck wire with tiny little 3mm faceted black crystals? OR, matte turquoise colored crystals?

I'm going to have to think on this one.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Swarovski "Wow"!

I just had a thought about changing the name Swarovski to SwarWOWski! That way maybe more people would have a better idea of how to pronounce it too!

All you can say about this photo is WOW! This is a swarovski button. The package reads "Swarovski Button, 14mm, Crystal AB". There were two in a pack for $2.50, but there were many other buttons that were half price. I bought a few... I have also added a photo of the back of this button in case you have never seen one before. There are so many uses for buttons in beading, it's important not to forget about them when designing your jewelry.

Getting back to the SwarWOWski name.... Did I tell you the story about the Swarovski representative who taught a class I took on a Caribbean cruise on pearl knotting? He said the easiest way to remember how to pronounce the name was to imagine you have gone on a skiing trip and were injured. From that point forward you had swore-off-skiing, swore-off-ski, Swarovski. That is a true story, honest!

Have a great evening!

Back of Swarovski button:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Crackle Heart Necklace

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a great summery Saturday! You might recognize the bead in today's jewelry item from a few weeks ago. I just loved the watery-ness of this bright red crackle heart and thought it would look cute on a simple chain. I used a headpin to connect the bead to a silver plated bail and added the little ball chain.

It makes me happy to see it on when I look in the mirror and I'm thinking about making a few variations as gifts.

Have a great evening!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Organic Green

The name on the package of this strand of beads was, "organic green". The strand had square and round glass beads with the same variations of green colors inside. From a distance, the beads look very earthy, but up close, because of the clear outer glass, they have a nice shine to them.

I originally thought about pairing these with pink crystals for a nice contrast sort of like a pink rose with green stem, but couldn't get it to come together in a way that made me really happy. I'm still thinking about the best way to use these and am not opposed to pairing them with pink. Maybe I just need a better design.

Let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks and take care!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Glass Insulator or Bead?

Today's bead made me think of those old glass insulators found on top of telephone poles. They are quite collectible today since production stopped in the 1970's. The design changed many times over a period of about 100 years. You can find them in flea markets or on special sites online. I was wondering if the designer of this bead might be a collector of those pretty glass sculptures that served such a great purpose for all those years.

I thought this bead would look great with some muted gold tone beads, the kind that look sort of aged or antiqued.

Take care!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Swirls of Red

Today's bead has a fun painted red swirl around the outside of the bead. It's really cool to be able to get a glimpse of the inside of the bead since much of the bead is clear. I have three of these beads from a local bead shop and of course thought of a focal bead for a bracelet wth two cool dangly earrings.

That jewelry would look great with a crisp white blouse with a bright red tank underneath. Add a cute pair of capris and take a picnic or a trip to the fair.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Deep Blue Flower

Wow, the color of this bead is so blue, it seems watery somehow. It has just the right amount of sparkle. I only have one of these, so I might have to get more since they are a little small. I'm thinking drop earrings and a dainty bracelet with some 4mm swarovski rounds.

If you had one in all the colors of the rainbow, that would make a really sweet looking choker for girls of any age. As a beader, I have heard the discussion about age-appropriate or situation appropriate jewelry, but if you have something you love, you really ought to wear it. I remember a story that Erma Bombeck wrote as she knew she was coming to the end of her life. She recalled a fancy candle that had been sculpted into a rose. She never burned the candle because she always wanted to keep it in perfect condition. In hind sight, she said she'd go back and enjoy lighting the candle and watching it burn.

Have a great evening!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Circuit Board Bead

When I first saw today's bead, I thought it seemed sort of like an aztec relic or something. After looking a little longer, I realized it seemed familiar to me because it reminded me of a printed circuit board. If you have ever taken a look inside any electronic device you will find a nice green and copper layout that looks sort of like an architect's drawing. The circuit board is used to mechanically support and electrically connect components using pathways etched from copper sheets.

I thought this bead would look really cook with some other earth tone or brick-like beads. It would be really fun if you could hang a real circuit board from it that did something interesting like lit up some bulbs or played a little song.

Tacky or fun? You be the judge.

Roadside Antique

Today's bead looks like something you'd find at a roadside antique shop. This was one of the beads in an eclectic (and inexpensive) bead mix from the Pink Flamingo bead shop in Powell, Ohio. I have never seen anything like this. It makes me think of chenille bedspreads, white bedside tables and rusty old watering cans. It's interesting how beads, like art, movies and music can sometimes take you somewhere else.

This would be a lot of fun in a single strand bracelet with some other fun chunky beads in pastels and whites. A little metal on the faux "rusty" side, would make it unique and interesting!

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All Wired Up!

I hope you all are having a great weekend! This week's bracelet was very simple and fun to make. These wired up circles are so cool! I purchased a strand of about 5 of them at Michael's recently and wasn't exactly sure if they had a pre-conceived purpose or not. Usually pieces this size are used as pendants, but I am a much bigger fan of bracelets. I love to be able to look down and admire the colors, textures and forms right there on my arm, no mirror required!

The wiring inside the circle acts as a nice little net for any kind of bead you might want to wire in or in some cases, you could just press them into the wire mesh! Of course, I just love adding chain to about anything, so I thought it finished this simple bracelet off quickly and easily!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Flying Serpent

Hi everyone and happy Friday!

Fridays are perfect for sci-fi movie watching or going to the drive in! We have a decent collection of kitschy movies from the 1930's through the 1950's. You are probably wondering why I am telling you about this. The reason is today's bead is reminiscent of the main character in a movie from 1946 titled, The Flying Serpent!

I knew I just had to have this bead! I visited a the Pink Flamingo bead shop in Powell, Ohio today. This bead was one of about 12 in a pack of miscellaneous beads for $1.50. Fun and obscure, I love it!

I noticed the movie, The Flying Serpent, is available on Netflix if you don't happen to have it in your collection. Here is an excerpt:

While investigating a strange, treasure-laden cave, mad archeologist Andrew Forbes (George Zucco) finds that it's guarded by a huge feathered serpent -- the ancient Aztecs' killer bird god Quetzalcoatl. When Forbes also discovers the secret of the killer bird's feathery fury, he unleashes the beast on his unwitting foes. Now, no one is safe from the bloodthirsty bird and its malevolent master in this quirky B movie from Sam Newfield.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fun Stripes

Hello! This is such a fun, striped bead that is perfect for summer time. Even on a rainy day, this one provides the brightness and cheer! I actually acquired this one from my former craft show partner so I wasn't sure where she found it.

Coincidentally, I happened to open the new fire mountain catalog and lo and behold, there was a bead VERY similar to this one. It is advertised as "striped bead mix" and the colors are orange, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, black and pink. WOW! If you are interested, they are on page 91 of the July-August catalog. I really thought this orange striped bead was made of glass, but the fire mountain beads, which are quite reasonably priced, are 9mm laminated acrylic and come in a package of 100.

I would LOVE to have 100 of these beads in so many different colors. My imagination is having sensory overload right now thinking of all the great pieces I could make!!

Have a great evening!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Power of Flowers!

I love flowers and flower beads are like icing on the cake of life! This is such a fun and cheerful bead and the fact that it is square, like a frame, which showcases the art in nature.

Yes, that's a little over the top, but I can't help it... this is one cheerful little bead!

If I was making something for myself, I would put this together with a bunch of other yellow beads including smiley faces. I love doing collage or eclectic type bracelets and I think over-doing the yellow with lots of fun and spunky beads in a variety of shapes and sizes would be great. A nice long sunshine shaped dangle would make all well in the world!

Take care!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Red Disk

I wanted to show you this bead from a side angle just so you could see how flat it is. This is a glass bead that comes in many other colors. I bought this one several years ago at a Ben Franklin Store. Actually, I think it was a Ben Frankin, 5 &10 cent store! I remember there were other colors such as olive green and yellow. They were also packaged with many other shapes besides round. There were rectangles, squares and ovals too.

This glass is very light and has a dainty quality. It would work well as a one strand bracelet or necklace interspersed with nice faceted glass beads.

Have a good one!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Floating in Mid Air

Today's bead comes in a number of different colors, but of course, I happen to have them in blue! I love the illusion of the color floating in mid-air. Mixing these blue-centered beads with the others in yellow and orange on several strands all twisted together is a fun way to use them. I recall adding in some bright solid color rounds in the same colors for some punch.

Once the piece is together, the clear glass around the center color adds some sparkle and shine!

I am wondering if you could ladder stitch up several strands for an interesting cuff bracelet.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sparkly Blue Ocean

What a great color and sparkly effect! This bead came in a large tube that I bought sometime last year. Until you get them out of the plastic tube, you don't realize how sparkly they are. I've used these in a bracelet project, but must admit I have not found the best use for them yet.

The ends are not covered in sparkly blue, so you need to incorporate the fact the ends are bare into your design or place larger, flatter beads next to each end to hide them.

Please let me know if you have any ideas. Have a great evening!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Hi there! When I first saw this bead I thought it was a mistake! It has a brown, caramel and white stripe and then a big blue smudge! I had set it aside for a while, but I recently came across a few more that must have been in the same package. Take a look....they all have the blue SMUGDGE! So, it must not be a smudge! I thought it added a lot of character and was sort of a "now" color combo.

Let me know what you think... I have seen cats with very interesting eyes before and these reminded me of the unique character that nature creates in little kitty cats.

Take care!

Friday, July 4, 2008


Happy 4th of July!! I hope everyone is having lots of family fun today! I took one of my crazy earrings out to get a quick picture to post here. I was going for fireworks, but this looks a little like a hobby rocket. This is quite a dangly earring and considering the simple beads used, it is definitely a little attention getting.

Have a great day!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Celebrate with Flowers!

These flower beads are so cute! They are from a firemountain strand of flower beads. There were also flowers in yellow and dark blue. While these could easily be used in jewelry for kids, by mixing in some solid color round beads and some silver spacers, you would get a slightly more mature piece of jewelry.

If you are not looking for mature, I am envisioning a long strand of flower beads as very dangly and colorful earrings. They would be great to wear while attending your local celebrations and fire works! Have a great holiday!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pillow in Pink

Today's bead is a sweet, billowy, pillow-like glass bead in a lovely light shade of pink. I was surprised to see these on clearance recently. Only 50 cents for a short strand. Needless to say, I bought quite a few of them!

I was thinking about a bracelet with lots of pastel crystals of all shapes and sizes. I think that would be sort of chaotic and fun!

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cute Decorative Clasp

I came across this lobster claw clasp recently and wanted to share it with you. I had never really seen one like this before. This is a new product now being carried at our local Joann, Etc. I know there are some gorgeous clasps out there, but I find myself wanting to use a good old fashioned lobster claw clasp because they hold up well and are secure. It was a nice surprise to see a decorative lobster claw clasp in a local craft store. Maybe if we all keep on beading and recruiting others to the craft, eventually we will end up with an entire "wing" at Joann's!

We can dare to dream!! Have a great day!!