Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Little Reggae

I love reggae music and when I saw this bead, I knew I had to have it. I have 5 or 6 of them and want to make something meaningful that represents my love of reggae music in general as well as the awe I feel for Bob Marley's inspired work.

It seems like it should be a little bit earthy, maybe involving hemp cord. On the other hand, I would love to have some swarovski sparkle. In this case, I really think it might work! I haven't figured it out completely yet, it depends on the actual cording I use. If crystals fit on the cording itself, I will knot them in. If they don't fit on the cording, I will need to dangle them from the bracelet in some way.

I'm still working on it! I hope you are all having a great week so far!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gorgeous Gold Plated Clasp

I mentioned yesterday that I had a pretty gold plated clasp that would work great with those fresh water pearls. I thought it would be fun to showcase the clasp today. I had ordered a package of 4 clasps when a friend brought me a bracelet that had sentimental value to her that had a broken clasp.

After lots of searching I was thrilled to find these. Not only was the clasp the right size and similar design, I was amazed to discover that the little inner locking section was the exact same as the original clasp. It turned out that I only needed to replace that part so the decorative part of the clasp could remain original on the bracelet. Isn't that something?

Don't you just love it when things turn out even better than you planned? In addition to that, I ended up with some gorgeous gold plated clasps for future use!

Have a great evening!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fresh Water Pearls

This is a great strand of cultured freshwater pearls that I received free from Fire Mountain Gems with a recent order. I was surprised to receive such a nice gift for free. I realize these could be classified as "irregular", but to someone like me who can sincerely appreciate the "underdog" in situations, it was considered PERFECT!

I like the look of these together as a strand, so I might just keep them together as a double strand knotted pearl bracelet. I have a gorgeous double strand gold clasp that would work perfectly with these. I'm still considering adding just a few 6mm crystals in the position of a focal bead on both strands, I think that would just add a tiny bit of something extra special.

What do you think? I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Golden Chocolate

This week's bracelet is one that I just recently made with some beads that were previously showcased on this blog. The great thing is only 4 pieces were needed to create this "sweet" chocolate jewelry: gold discs w/jump rings, chocolate pearls, magnetic clasp and eye pins.

I wasn't sure I was going to like these discs until I got the bracelet finished and took it outside to look at it in the light. I was happily surprised!

I hope all of you are having a great and crafty weekend!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kitty Cat Faces

Aren't these adorable? These little kitty cat face charms are so tiny and sweet! I mentioned yesterday that I was going through some bins of jewelry from our old craft show days and found these. My partner made them and I'm sure she'd probably like to have them back. These would make a great gift for a sweet little girl who loves kitty cats.

I would LOVE to have a pair of these with little doggy faces, but I've never seen any charms that are similar to these...very dainty and sweet. If you know of where I could find something like that, please let me know. I could do an entire bracelet in doggy face charms!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Universal Symbols

I was just thinking the other day about the universal symbols used to represent females and males and wondered what would happen if women ever stop wearing skirts or dresses...

What would the symbols look like then?An obscure thought, but curious nonetheless. I was weeding through some old bins of earrings from our craft show days and found a pair of earrings made of these beads. It wasn't until I clipped off the end to take them apart I thought I ought to share them with you just for fun.

Would females of any culture understand this was meant to represent them? These are almost sort of leggo-like too. I still think they are kind of cute, so I'm going to put them back together and keep them. I'm thinking they should hang down just a little more and swing more easily. Maybe hanging from chain would be cute or from an eye hook with just a bead or two on it for fun. Bright colors of green, yellow or blue would set off the red a little bit more.
Hope you are all having a great week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Green Stripes

These green striped stones gave me a chuckle for some reason. I think it was because they reminded me of those really puffy slipper socks you are sure to see around the winter holidays. I have a favorite pair in red, yellow and green with a plastic photo of Napoleon Dynamite on them in his leisure suit! I LOVE THOSE socks. Not only are they extremely soft, but I have to admit I'm a huge Napoleon Dynamite fan!

The greens in these stones would actually look great with other similar beads in red and yellow. I wonder if you can find Napoleon Dynamite beads? If not, I know how to decopauge!! You never know when those other crafting skills will come in handy!

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fancy Bottle Stopper

I can picture a fancy perfume bottle in that great, "old world" blue color with a stopper that looks like this in blue with gold accents. Of course, I might hang a few extra crystals off of that bottle if I had a chance.

Lots of gold beads would be great in a piece of jewelry using this little bottle stopper. Metalic bicones and even a few gold stardust beads would be perfect. A large dangly tear-drop bead in a similar blue color would finish it off nicely!

Looking at these individual beads so closely and getting a feel for their "story" really expands your imagination and makes it easy to design jewelry.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cathedral Bead Collection

Once again I find myself sharing not just one bead with you, but a handful of beads! It just seems a shame when I have a variety of colors not to show them.

These beads have an interesting detail on the ends. They are typically covered in a metal finish which often gives them an antique look as if you were using bead caps.

The colors of these beads in the photo are great together. They might not be colors you would think to put together, but when you look at them in a group, they are very interesting and unique.

I hope you are all having a good Monday!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Personalized Charm

Today's bead is a ceramic charm or pendant that I received as a gift from my parents. I believe they picked this up during their travels through the state of Florida. I loved this so much when I received it and when I came across it the other day it was like receiving it all over again. I am surprised I didn't use it when I initially received it, but I am anxious to come up with a design for using it now.

It definitely has a summery vibe to it, so making it as we approach fall is a bit of a bummer. However, you never know when a Caribbean vacation could come around the corner and it will be great to be prepared.

Let me know if you have any cute, islandy ideas for this personalized charm!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This Week's Choker

I wanted to share this EASY to make choker with you as encouragement not to get too hung up on intricate or complex beading patterns that might discourage you from making cool jewelry for yourself. I understand that might be necessary for the pieces you make to sell, but when it comes to making some fun jewelry for weekend wear, all you really need is 1 cool bead and a piece of black faux leather cording. You can add a clasp it you would like, but a knot works just as well especially if this is a one of a kind, one-wear piece of jewelry. I like to make things for the weekend that I will only wear once to match an outfit or a mood and then return the bead to my stash.

Step 1: find an ultra cool bead. You might remember this one from the entry about blown glass beads from Joann. They have lots of different colors in their blown glass collection, but this was my favorite. The fact it has black running through it makes it a good candidate for the black cording.

2: Cut your piece of cording to fit your neck size
3: At the center, make one overhand knot
4: Slide on the focal bead
5: Make another knot to hold it in place

Put the choker around your neck and tie in the back

Feel free to add a clasp if you want to wear this one easily again. Just knot the clasp on at the end of each cord.

There you go...a very simple and COOL weekend choker!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gold Leaf

I found a package of 5 "metal pendant & charms" each in a different leaf shape. I thought the color and intricate vein details were great! They seem to be made of a wire mesh and are an inch to an inch and a half long. If you don't mind earrings that are not identical, these would be great fall dangly earrings with just one crystal on a gold toned eyepin and the leaf dangling.

These would also be great hanging from a thin gold neck chain. You could cut an extra length of chain to use as a pendant and hang the leaves at different heights and then wire on all kinds of eclectic glass beads and crystals.

Okay, I have to go get my beads out!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Carved Glass

Hello! Today's bead is made of glass, but I am guessing some sort of molding technique was used to create this look rather than a carving. The color is a great dark cranberry and even though I'm not ready for fall, this would be a nice addition to a fall piece of jewelry.

Mixed with various shades of gold and dark brown, this bead would add a lot of life. Of course, an extra strand of crystals in every fall color would give it that extra glow and sparkle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jeannie's Bottle

If only I could cross my arms, blink my eyes and create a little magic, I would turn this bottle shaped bead into a glittery, jewel toned "bottle" fit for a jeannie!

Since this bead is in black and white, however, I think it would be cute with lots of black and white rounds in different sizes from 3mm to 8mm.

It would be interesting to know what the bead designer had in mind with this one. These would also be cute as dangle beads on a chunky black and white beaded bracelet.

I hope you are all having a great evening!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Car Parts?

These metal beads are really cool! I've seen some of them packaged individually and they seem like ordinary old spacer beads, but when you put them all together in this "Metal Bead Mix" by Crafts, etc., they take on another life as though they came out of a carburetor. Not that I have seen a carburetor up close or anything, I guess this is what I imagine would be in there!

In my youth, I went through sort of a punk phase and would never dream of wearing anything too girly. When I saw these beads, they struck a little chord in my heart...a reminder of those angst ridden days of trying to figure out who you are in life. Interestingly, before you know it, 20 years have passed and you experience that all over again!

I made a bracelet out of black hemp cord and used some of these as dangles on head pins just tied to the various strands of cording. I liked it and thought it was oh so cool!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Colorful Flower Bead Caps

Hello! Since I missed out on posting yesterday due to a power outage for most of the day, I wanted to get this one posted early since our power has been restored, yay!

These flower bead caps are made of metal and came attached on stretchy cord advertised as a bracelet. These are 6mm flowers and do look cute as a bracelet, but I think they will be so much cuter used individually as bead caps. I am thinking they would be adorable using a fancy headpin with either a ball or crystal on the end and hung as a bunch of dangles from a chain or on a memory wire bracelet with colorful beads.

As always, let me know if you have any interesting ideas for these. There must be over 100 of these which is great for the imagination!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Smiling Faces

I love smiling faces of any kind! Whether they are smiling faces of people or smiling faces of inanimate objects. I can't seem to help but smile back! Do you feel that way too?

It must be something that is just innate! You see a smile, you smile back. Isn't that great!? It's powerful when you realize that! If things aren't going positively, give a few smiles and you might be surprised how you affect the people around you! Not only that, you will FEEL the smile on the inside too!

If you are ever having a tough time and are by yourself without the ability to get feedback from others, try forcing a few smiles! Honestly, I know that sounds silly, but it really works!

Back to beads... this is a sterling silver smiley charm from Fire Mountain Gems. It's not really necessary to talk about how cute this is, but what to do with it? I have made some really great smiley memory wire bracelets that are very subtle. Lots of red, blue, green and yellow beads with smiley charms. If you need a little boost, give that a try and see what happens.

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Smooth Blue Rings

The word "smooth" comes to mind when looking at these nice blue glass rings. These should really be used with some glittery crystals or maybe even those stardust silver beads! I like the look of these as they are in the photo, but I also think they would be interesting linked from each other with heavy silver jump rings. You could then dangle something sparkly on the inside of each round.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shell Pendant

Today's bead is a pendant made of shell in a nice, warm gold/honey tone. It is approximately 1 3/4 inches in diameter. It is extremely light-weight and just a tad fragile. I'd love to use this on a thin, gold neck wire. I think leaving the neck wire plain would be nice or crimping on just a few crystals for sparkle would work too.

Let me know if you have any interesting ideas for this one! (These came from Michael's in case you are interested.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Random Bead Mix

Hello! As I was rooting around containers, baggies and boxes of beads the other day, I poured out a bunch of random beads and thought they looked so cute. I actually ended up pulling the turquoise beads from yesterday out of this lovely collection.

I love these colors...the pinks seem fun and spunky!

I would love to see other people's random bead mixes that occur as they are working on a project. Please send them to me if you have a minute and I'll post them here. Email me at blcrone123@sbcglobal.net.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Matte Turquoise Bicones

Today's bead is a 6mm swarovski matte bicone. I don't think I ever would have opened my eyes to these beads if I hadn't received them in a bead mix that I ordered from Auntie's Beads a year or so ago. I wouldn't have thought about using a swarovski crystal that didn't have that glassy sparkle.

HOWEVER, this bead is so cool that it really can stand on its own, but when mixed with a variety of other blue shades, WOW, the contrast just adds to the sparkle of the other crystals.I definitely recommend mixing them!

I have also used them on black beading wire with crimps on either side in a project I posted here a while back with the stone pendant.

Before closing, I wanted to mention something here about the rainbow drops that I posted on Sunday. I received a question about their size and wanted to note that they are approximately 3 x 4mm. They are so tiny, it's not immediately noticeable that they are drops! Too cute!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Rainbow of Drops

Oh my gosh, can you believe how tiny and cute these glass drops are? The great news is that I have an entire little tube of them, yay! I know I bought them in a bead shop, but now I can't remember which one!

I think these would look great as a sweet little choker with a dash of sparkle here and there. I'll have to look through the fire mountain catalog to see if I can find a larger drop that is similar to these that could be used as a pendant.

How about making a colorful pendant out of frosted shrink plastic!?! Wow, that would be so much fun!

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Sea Beads!

I wanted to share these brightly colored beads with you today since they are so festive and Saturday-like! I had hoped to have a bracelet already made with them, but that didn't happen.

I was thinking these would look cool crimped on colored beading wire mingled with crystals. Probably several strands would be necessary to make them really stand out.

What do you think?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dreamy Blue Glass

This dreamy blue glass bead is just gorgeous! The colors have a watery feeling to them. I think I need to learn how to make beads so I can have the sense of accomplishment beadmakers must feel when something like this is made!

These are the tiniest little beads! It seems that to have the loop attached must have been complicated to master. I am guessing the round part of the bead is 10 - 12mm. I bought them to make earrings with, but that hasn't happened yet...

I don't want to over power them so I'm thinking about just adding one of those long silver ear wires or maybe a few chain links. I'll post them once I figure it out.

As always, I hope you all have a great and crafty weekend!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bottom of the Sea Clasp

Today's bead is actually a silver plated magnetic clasp with swarovski crystals. I love the design in the silver, it reminded me of a rocky sea bottom or aquarium. The color of the crystals is just crying out to be used with lots and lots of blue and blue/green beads and crystals.

I think I can handle that! I have a pretty good collection of blue beads as you probably know.

Have a great evening!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chocolate Strand of Pearls

Today's beads are chocolate flavored, I mean, chocolate colored 8mm glass pearls. They are made for Hobby Lobby and labeled "Bead Treasures". You can't beat the $1.99 price for 50 pieces. I would have to say the color is pretty perfect and brings to mind lovely milk chocolate! Better to wear it than eat it....not so many calories!!

While I think ANY bead would look great with some crystals, this bead would also be nice on brown thread with perfect little knots in between each bead. I haven't used my knotting tool for quite a while and that sounds like a fun and relaxing project!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sun-Star Bead

I'm calling today's bead a "sun-star" because it is in the shape of a star, but is so sunny! Talk about cheerful! This is one happy little bead!

I just recently bought a variety of smiley face beads and even though this one doesn't have a happy little face on it, it just seems to be sending out a little cheer.

I hope you are all having a great day and I hope this sweet little happy bead has added to it just a little!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Amethyst Leaf

Today's bead is in the spotlight to show off the nice variations of color running through it. This is such a good example of layering a variety of similar colors to give a bead some depth. I'm not sure there are amethyst colored leaves in real life, but I guess that's the beauty of bead design....imagination!

This bead would look interesting twisted together on wire with a bunch of other leaf beads in a variety of deeper tone colors. A nice long dangle would definitely give it some added flair!