Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pink & White Stripes

Today's bead looks like it would be right at home on a pool table. I love the dark outline around the white stripe. Even though it has more of a springtime feeling, I think you could mix this with some slightly darker lilac beads for a little more warmth. Throw in a few contrasting dark crystals, maybe in a garnet or purple velvet, for a nice sparkly effect.

I think it's time to get the catalog out and stock back up on crystals!!

I hope you all had a nice weekend! Have a great week!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mother of Pearl & Hematite

This week's bracelet is made with lots of mother of pearl varieties mixed with hematite rounds. I loved the shiny sparkle of the hematite! The squares of earthy mother of pearl stack up nicely and look like little shelves of books. I found the focal bead at a bead show a couple of years ago and thought the colors were gorgeous! Isn't it great when you get out a bunch of beads and eventually they find their way into a design?

I hope you are all having a great weekend!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ice Crystals

The clear glass chips used in these earrings are simple, but fun. A lot of times when you see glass or gemstone chips, they are in earthy or beachy type jewelry.

These sparkly clear glass chips are reminiscent of ice crystals. It was fun mixing in a couple of little ab crystal bicones which gave them the look of stalactites. They add some nice dimension and shine. These would be easily wearable in both the summer and winter which I always think is an added bonus with jewelry.

I did have to look this word up because I get stalactites and stalagmites mixed up. Here is a nice definition from

An icicle-shaped mineral deposit, usually calcite or aragonite, hanging from the roof of a cavern, formed from the dripping of mineral-rich water.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Love and Thanks!

Hi everyone! I wanted to send my most heartfelt love and thanks out there to all of the wonderful bead designers and bead makers! Your contribution to the world provides so much to so many.....beaders, crafters, wearers, admirers. What a great feeling it must be to add just a little extra glitter, sparkle and beauty to the world. Thanks to all of you!

I hope everyone is having a great day filled with abundance, joy and a little bit of sparkle!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lizard Love

I'm not sure I wouldn't turn the other direction if faced with a real live lizard, but you have to admit this one is pretty cute! This is a large lizard charm that would be perfect as a necklace pendant.

Someone else I know clipped off the loop and glued it to their cell phone case as a decorative piece. Clever!

This would be a fun choker or necklace using some turquoise and bali silver beads. Speaking of turquoise, if you have a minute, take a look at this awesome blog about "everything turquoise". They have featured a gorgeous turquoise necklace made by S&T Creations.

Hope you are all having a great day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cool As Ice!

Ooh, what a nice Icy bead! Very cool and refreshing! I have a strand of these from Michael's and have not decided whether to use one of them as a focal bead or an entire bracelet of them. They are approximately an inch square so just a simple 6mm bicone ab crystal would be nice in between each bead.

I think I'm still stuck on the 1 strand memory wire bracelets because now I'm thinking this would be a nice focal bead with 6mm round ab crystals in a similar blue color. Nice and monochramatic.

Yes, I am still stuck on the memory wire...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Too Early for Rudolph?

Hello! I know Thanksgiving is just a few days away, but I can't help jumping ahead just a tad to share this adorable charm with you. I have had it for a couple of years and used one as a dangle on a memory wire bracelet, but still have this one left. I am pretty sure the dark, dreary and cold weather probably has something to do with wanting to either head for warmer, sunnier places or at least the bright lights and cheerful songs of the holiday season.

I'd like to figure out a way to showcase this in a way that it stands out more than as just a dangle on a bracelet. I'm thinking of some kind of neck chain or colorful craft wire to weave into a choker and then use this as a cute choker dangle. I don't want it to be something you would be embarassed to wear, but something classy. Is that possible? Hmm... I'm going to have to think on that.

I hope you are all well and keeping warm!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sand Art Tear Drop

I've seen these beads in a number of shapes and colors, but the tear drop suits the "sand art" bead very well. It reminds me of sand art in a bottle. This bead has a light summery feel to it, but I bet it would make a cute, light and airy wintery piece too. If it were mixed with some darker green tones and some orangy brown or red beads it would take on a different feel.

I like to force myself to take an opposite approach at times when beading just to see if I can!

Have a great evening!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Final Chapter - Pearls & Stone

This week's bracelet will close the chapter on the pearl & stone memory wire experiment. I just couldn't help but make one more when I saw this particular stone and the leftover mauve pearls.

I'm wondering if this will be my winter obsession.... In the summer I was hooked on the various circular links that seemed to be everywhere. They were so light, airy and perfect for summer jewelry.

Likewise, I think the pearls, stones and crystals seem warm or comforting for this winter season.

I hope you are all having a fun day!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too Much Sparkle?

How much is too much when it comes to sparkle? This is a very large sparkly bead, but somehow it doesn't seem like too much when paired with this pearl and bead cap...

I'm not sure there really is a limit or a maximum amount of sparkle that should be used in jewelry pieces. I think that is really up to the designer or the recipient. I say the more sparkle the better!

I hope you are all gearing up for a fun weekend! Stay warm!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tiny Round Dangles

Since we are on the subject of dangles, I wanted to share another cute bead that my Dad discovered a couple of years ago. He ended up making quite a few anklets for my Mom and all her friends in different color combinations. These little 4mm dangles added just the right amount of flair about every inch or so along the anklet.

These are adorable paired with aqua or sea green beads and little 3mm crystals. Interesting how my mind turns to the beach as soon as the temperature drops below freezing...

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Silver Tube with Dangle

Today's bead is a silver tube with a little loop for, what else, dangling more beads!!

This could be the perfect addition to any bracelet or necklace if you want to add just a little extra sparkle or if you want to add a lot of extra sparkly dangles. This can also be used as a bail to dangle a focal bead or grouping of beads on a necklace.

These are small enough that they would even be cute on an anklet with just a little 4mm crystal hanging from each one. Once again, there is a world of possibilities with these great products. These are made by Darice and came 12 to a package.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Flower/Leaf Hook & Eye Clasp

This clasp is from Crafts, etc. and found at Hobby Lobby. In addition to the fun design, the cost for the clasp was $1.47. As you probably know, if you keep an eye out, you can pick these up at half the price during their 50% off jewelry sales. That's a real bargain.

The back of the leaf has one loop for attaching it to your jewelry piece and the flower has two loops. One for attaching it to the jewelry piece and one for connecting the clasp. This would work nicely on a necklace so you could make the clasp part of the design. I love the detail in the flower and think using mostly silver beads with a few black crystals thrown in would bring out the brightness of the silver.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Safety Pin Art

In case you were wondering, safety pin art is still alive and well! This block "O", representing OSU, was one of the projects brought by a craft night participant last Saturday. I've made these to represent the US flag, but this one was pretty simple to make. Very cute on a scarlet and gray sweatshirt!

I believe there is a booklet on safety pin jewelry out there in the craft store world, but I have also seen lots of instructions online as well. As always, you can probably find links for safety pin designs and a gazillion other things on the jewelry making site at

Have a great evening!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This Week's Bracelet, Continued...

Today's photos are the results of a fun night of crafting with family and friends. These are just a few of the variations that can be made very simply with some memory wire, pearls, stones and a little bit of sparkle.

The possibilities are endless! I hope everyone had a fun weekend and wish you all a great week!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Simplified Gift Giving

If time is short, but you really want to make a gift of jewelry for someone special, don't hesitate to pull out your memory wire, a focal bead and some nice colorful 6mm rounds to make a simple, fast, but cute bracelet. The recipient will hopefully appreciate the sentiment and love the simplicity!

Hope you are all having a great and crafty weekend out there!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bird on a Vase

What an interesting bead! I don't recall ever seeing a bead that was shaped like a vase... Pretty cute, I must say! My plan is to use this as a focal bead in a bracelet, but I could see how you could do some crystal wire twisting so the beads would appear to be flowers in the vase.

I found these in a drawer at Joann Etc. Sometimes you look through the drawers and don't find much of anything unique and other times you can find some great beads! So, the moral of the story is, always look through the drawers at the craft store!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mother of Pearl Flower

Today's bead is a 9mm grey mother of pearl flower. These beads came from the Ben Franklin store, yes they still exist, in Bowling Green, Ohio. It's been about a year or so since I found these so it's like finding them all over again in my bead collection.

I think these would look fun hanging as a long chain from a necklace or choker. They might look sort of like clovers hanging on a vine, even though clovers might not actually hang from a vine... Using jet swarovski crystals in between each flower would be sparkly and adorable.

These would also be cute as a choker with little jet crystals dangling somehow in between each flower.

I hope you are all having a great week!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gorgeous Supermarket Pearls!

These gorgeous 50 piece package of "8mm Round Pearl Teal Blue" glass beads were discovered at the Meijer supermarket! They have carried beads in varying quantities over the last 5 years or so and if you really take the time to look, you can usually find something fun AND economical! This package of 50 beads was just $1.59. Needless to say I bought them in mauve, light green and standard cream too!

Pearl beads like this are great for 1 strand memory wire projects and can provide quite a bit of impact if paired with a nice sized focal bead and a few crystals. I'm preparing to search my stash of beads for a nice focal bead for each of the strands of pearls. The treasure hunting just adds to the jewelry making fun!

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cute Headpins?

Yes, these headpins are pretty darned cute! I just picked up these headpins recently so I haven't had a chance to use them yet. I've used crystal headpins before as well as gold or silver with triangle points on them, but never flowers. I was so happy to see these considering the turn the weather has taken! Any flower, alive or molded into jewelry findings makes me happy!

The first thought that comes to mind is using these in earrings, but why not use a silver chain with large links and make colorful flower charms!? A wrist full of blooming and colorful, happy flowers sounds like a fine idea!

Hope you are all having a great week!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stars for Spangling

Hello! I hope everyone's week is going well so far! I found these great glass beads over the weekend and just loved the bright blue color! I am thinking about using them in earrings with shoots of crystals coming out the bottom so they look like shooting stars.

As I was uploading this photo the thought "star spangled banner" came to mind and I honestly couldn't be sure I knew the actual definition of the word "spangled". Just in case you are interested, here is a reminder from

1. a small, thin, often circular piece of glittering metal or other material, used esp. for decorating garments.
2. any small, bright drop, object, spot, or the like.

This would be a nice bead for many occassions including the US Veteran's day celebration that will officially take place tomorrow.

Have a good one and go spangle something!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cheerful Cloisonne Flowers

I found the most adorable cloisonne flower beads today at a local trunk show at Ally's Beads and was so excited to share them! These large discs with a bright blue background caught my eye immediately. As always, when things speak to me, I have to buy them no matter what. I have come along way and no longer question things that I don't really need. I trust my instincts! It has only taken a couple of decades to have advanced to this point!!

I'm thinking about using these for a simple beading class I will be teaching next weekend. Using memory wire is always a fun and simple project for individuals who do not bead regularly. I am thinking about finding some gold metal tubes and large faceted rounds in either green or blue. Simple, but very fun!

I hope you all had a fun and craft-filled weekend!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Need for Sparkle

Have you ever felt a real NEED for sparkle? Maybe it's the slightly dreary November days that are causing that to happen. Today I thought I need to put on as much sparkle as I can.

I envisioned strands of crystals entwined to create large baubles of sparkliness. Then I had the idea that maybe I should make a real piece of jewelry rather than just a twirled up mess of crystals. I used my last few comet argent 6mm crystals and some tiny 3 mm swarovski crystals to wrap around them.

Even though I really think this necklace could use a few more crystals, it filled the void and made me feel much better and sparklier!

I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chocolate Drop Earrings

Yay, we made it to Friday once again, isn't that GREAT!?

This week's earrings were made a couple of weeks ago for a special event. I needed something to wear with the chocolate pearl bracelet I made back in September. I was hoping for something that was professional and not overly dangly or crazy, but with a little bit of shine.

I am happy with these and now it seems like everything I have been wearing recently goes well with them or maybe that works the other way around....

Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Button Time!

Hello there! It has been a while since a button has been showcased here so when I came across this one in a box of crafting supplies, I realized how perfect it would be in a piece of jewelry.

This button would work great as a focal point in a necklace or choker. One strand of large (12mm+) black, hematite or silver beads would really make the intricate details on the button stand out.

The button packaging is made to appear old and tea stained. It reads, "Circa 1860-1899 Vintage LaMode".

If you haven't used buttons in a jewelry project, I encourage you to give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Express Yourself in Sterling!

This is by far my favorite sterling silver charm! It is a fun way to express yourself to friends or individuals who have given of themselves to guide or assist you. This is the perfect way to say "Thanks!"

You probably realize I meant it is a great way to express yourself by attaching it to a piece of jewelry, however, I recently gave a fellow beader just the charm so she could decide how to use this to pass along the sentiment.

I think it still translated sincerely to a message of thanks. It was truly heart-felt and the fun part is the fact that it's transferrable.

I hope you are all having a great and relaxing evening!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Porcupine Spacer Bead

I was really surprised when I enlarged the photo of today's spacer bead. It has sort of a comical shape with globs of porcupine-like spindles coming out of the middle. The reason it surprised me is that from a distance and without magnifying glasses, it seems like a very buttoned-down, conservative type spacer bead.

Before really SEEING this bead, I would probably have just used it to take up space and add a little metally shine to a simple bracelet. Now that I have seen it in all of its glory, I would really love to use this in a more edgy project. Something with bright, crazy colors and lots of imbalanced, eclectic strands.

It would also be cute used in earrings with several strands of colorful beads coming out the bottom in different lengths. I think I could work on this project all day!

I hope you all had a great day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Red, White & Blue Collection

Hello! In preparation for those of us in the United States who will be exercising our right to vote in the presidential election tomorrow, I pulled several photos of beads and a fireworks earring previously posted just to get in the spirit.

Best wishes to all of you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Colorful Cloisonne

Today's bead is a smart, colorful cloisonne bead with bright red, gold, black and green! Awesome!!

Cloisonne beads are created by affixing a metal wire to the base bead to act as a color seperater. A powdered colored glass enamel is then painted between the partitions. After a firing and polishing process, the bead is electroplated in a gold or silver film and there you have it!


I love the idea of a using lots of GOLD beads and possibly even crimp a few of these beads along a gold beading cord or wire that will show its goldness. Mmm.... Sounds very nice and calming!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

$1.00's worth of chain

Instead of an actual bracelet, I wanted to post a handful of chain that I received from my parents today. They discovered it at a garage sale for $1.00. It is silver toned and very light weight. I'm wondering if this is made of some type of plastic rather than metal. However, it still has the same impact as metal chain. I love that you could get 3 or 4 bracelet strands at least out of this or a couple of strands for a necklace. You could really go crazy hanging a variety of beads on this or you could cut the pieces apart and intermix beads in the strand itself.

Let me know what you think. I would love to use some bright colors with this, maybe a bunch of bright plastic beads would work great!