Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone and happy new year! I browsed back through the last year's worth of posts to see if I could find some beads that could be used to represent the new year's eve celebration.

I noticed these 4 beads and thought they all reminded me of the ball dropping at midnight in New York City. Each of these would be fun to use in a festive piece of jewelry. I'm thinking a bracelet or even just earrings. Of course, I have always loved a long thin bugle bead with a nice round ball at the end of it, so that would be fun.

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rustic Canvas

There is something about today's bead that made me feel like painting. It's sort of reminiscent of a canvas made to appear worn or weathered in preparation for a rustic scene of some kind.

The more I thought about this, I realized that some larger surface beads can be used as a "canvas" for arranging other beads. In fact, I posted some brown bead caps a couple of weeks ago and Teri from S&T Creations mentioned it would look cute with a tiny fruit bead inside of it like a bowl.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to beads. It's all about your perspective! This particular round disc is the perfect backdrop for some rustic beads that make you think of a day at the farm (aged red barn, rusting equipment, hay stacks, etc.).

Certainly gives you something to think about...

Have a good one!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blue Flower Tube

I've been missing the gorgeous blue sky and pretty summer flowers and it shows in the beads I am finding myself attracted to right now. I'm not surprised, just a little amused that I am so predictable. Maybe I should just be grateful that I find what I need to make me happy!

Since I want to see the flowers on the ends of these tubes, I think this bead would be a good candidate for using a nice colorful beading wire. Softflex has lots and lots of colors. Yes, I would probably pick the sky blue color and bright silver crimp tubes to immobilize these beads at intervals on blue wire with different shades of blue crystals at half in intervals in between each tube. Since the holes on the tubes are large, it will likely require a silver or blue round just large enough to fill the hole on either side to keep it from sliding over the crimps. Gosh, I wish I had some blue wire!!

I hope your week has gotten off to a good start!! Take care!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gold and Blue Flower

This is an interesting bead... I'm not sure if it is a tulip or a flower at all, that's just how I'm seeing it. I like the detailing in gold, but again, I'm not sure of the intent of this bead. It sort of reminds me of the ear of corn bead that was recently posted.

The aqua color is very nice and would work well with some gold beads and might be cute in a right angle weave design with some gold rounds.

Let me know your thoughts on this one if you have a minute, I would love to get your input!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sweet, Tiny Yellow Flowers

Believe it or not, in Ohio we experienced close to record breaking temperatures today! In fact, at close to 10pm, it is still 63 degrees. This might not seem like much to others in warmer climates, but to us, it's a heat wave! We were previously in the midst of ice and snow storms and wind chills below zero! It's truly shocking!

I was wondering if there might be some little flowers in the ground thinking it was time to come up already. It sure feels like spring and I wouldn't be surprised to see some tiny yellow flowers peaking out of the ground.

These beads are so adorable and tiny, they would look so cute just strung up together. But, I'm thinking they would look great with some green and red too!

Have a great, warm December day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Metal Bead

Hello! This three hole metal bead is very large and striking! I was thinking it would be great for making a 3 strand memory wire bangle. There were 4 of these beads in a package and would work perfectly mixed with lots of black and silver beads or an eclectic mix of all shapes and sizes.

I have used memory wire in two strand pieces, but never three strands. Let me know what you think! Okay, I just had one more thought.... Black rubber tubing would be very cool used with these beads on a 3 strand memory wire bangle. I'm not sure of the beads yet, but am anxious now to see if I can make it work.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cheerful Mix

Today's bead is actually a very cheerful mix that I came across a while back. I usually gauge whether I will like a mix by the smile on my face. This one was a "smiler" and I wanted to share the grouping with you rather than just one bead at a time to see if you agree.

You just can't go wrong with cheerful beads!!

I hope today brought you everything you hoped it would and that everyone is warm and happy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Simple Holiday Bracelet

I realized today that I had confused my days of the week when I posted the week's earrings on Tuesday instead of Friday! Since I'm already on a roll, I thought I might as well post the week's bracelet that is normally done on Saturday!

This is the bracelet I mentioned last Saturday that I have been wearing with the green and pearl bracelet recently. It is a simply strung bracelet, but I liked how the tiny little pearls set off the crystals. Once you establish a pattern, the stringing takes a matter of minutes!

I hope you have all had a happy day! Take care and happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree!

This week's earrings are not exactly representative of a traditional Christmas tree, but for those of us who enjoy something a little off-kilter, they are perfect!

I have always liked the interesting variations of topiary cones used during the holidays. I just saw a program on the food network where they covered a large styrofoam cone with red and white peppermint candies and one in green and white peppermints...too cute!!

When I noticed these silver cones in my bead box, I thought I needed to make them into cute trees with just a little red star on top.

I hope you are all having a great week!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Green & Pink Mix

Today's bead is actually a packaged mix I came across recently. I love the green crackle beads! It wasn't until I opened the package and let them all spill out on the table that I realized this was a sort of pastel version of holiday colors! Why not?!

You don't always need primary colors or dark, wintery colors to represent the holidays. This is sort of like a Floridian Christmas or Island Christmas! I have never been fortunate enough to celebrate the winter holiday in a warm climate, but if I was, I think I'd like to decorate in pastels.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This Island, Earth

Today's bead might not have been intended to resemble the planet earth, but that was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this strand of ceramic beads. Depending on your own style, you could make a piece of jewelry that stands out as sort of "earthy" by using natural materials such as wood or clay.

On the other hand, you could play up the sort of gold tones in this bead and add lots of shiny gold beads. You could even use this as a focal bead with a band of tiny gold metallic delica or seed beads.

One last possibility that comes to mind is going for the sort of kitschy, 1950's "atomic age" design. Adding beads that represent other planets and even space ship type beads would be lots of fun too!

If you ARE a fan of kitschy 1950's or 1960's space movies, you might be familiar with the one titled, "This Island Earth". If you aren't sure if you have seen this one or not, you would know it by the word, "Interoceter". I won't go into all the details, but if you like kitschy sci-fi's, you won't regret checking this one out.

I hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to start up a new work week! Take care!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Green & Pearl Holiday Bracelet

Hello! This week's bracelet is a simple stringing project that I recently took to a holiday craft night. I wanted something that was easy and could wait until the midnight hour in case there were more complex crafts with paints or glue guns that would take longer to complete.

We each picked a different clasp, but the beads were all the same. I was short a couple of pearls, so I threw in a swarovski pearl at the end to make up the length I needed since this one was for me. You might recognize these slightly imperfect freshwater pearls from the free strand I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog.

The green faceted bicones were on a strand from Michael's and together they make a slightly non-traditional, but cheerful holiday bracelet. I've been wearing this one with a pearl and red/green bracelet and they go together nicely. I had never used these magnetic clasps before and thought it would be a good opportunity. They hold really well if you were wondering. I posted this clasp in a previous post too. It is also from Michael's.

I hope everyone is getting in a little crafting before the holidays. Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Cactus Flower Petal

Today's bead is a BRIGHT RED leaf! I loved the boldness of this red color and since it is holiday time, it put me in mind of a pointsettia leaf or cactus flower petal.

If you are a fan of the movie, The Homecoming, which was a pilot about the Walton family, you will likely remember the scene with the Christmas cactus. If you haven't seen it, you have to get out to your library and pick this one up or check out Amazon. You won't regret it! It's pretty classic. All the kids in the movie are the same from the TV show, but the parents and grandpa were played by other actors.

So, back to the reason I am mentioning the movie... You don't want to miss the scene with Patricia Neal as Olivia Walton as she discovers her Christmas cactus has bloomed. In the middle of the depression and the stark, blustery winter on the mountain, she made an appropriate fuss over it. I believe she won the best actress Golden Globe for this role in 1971.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Gem of Gems

When I saw today's bead in a packaged mix recently (at the Meijer store), I had to buy the package just to show it to you! This one appears to be plastic, but all the others in the mix were glass. This reminded me of the kind of jewels you see in treasure chests or the kind of royal stone that Sherlock Holmes was always either protecting or trying to track down.

The color is great and makes this bead stand out even more than it does by its size. It is at least an inch long and quite chunky. I'd like to try using this as the focal bead in a short necklace or choker, not as a dangle, but strung on the neck. Although, I suppose this would be pretty cute made into a necklace dangle...

I would love to mix it with cheerful pastels, but that might make it seem a little too juvenile. However, I need to remember to push past my preconceived notions sometimes and give things a try!

I hope you have enjoy looking at this treasure of a gem as much as I have!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Milky Opal

Today's bead is not a real opal, but I wanted to point out its "opal-ness". I honestly hadn't noticed that about it until I looked very closely. You can really see some light pastel colors coming through. Now I can't look at it without seeing them, isn't that interesting...? Sometimes our brains see what they think they should be seeing instead of what is actually there.

You could actually use this one as a focal bead on a bracelet. Of course I am thinking about some ab crystals, possibly even 2x ab! I think it would be cute with several strands beaded seperately and all strands going through the focal bead together. Light pink and blue crystals would be adorable. I think I'd also like to use one of these as a dangle on that bracelet along with a few sparkly crystals.

I hope you are all having a great week!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flat & Square Sky Bead

I love the color in this bead! It's just the softest sky blue color that looks like it's peaking out from some fluffy white clouds. Okay, I know it's flat, but that's what the imagination is for!

I'm not entirely sure how to use a bead like this so you can see it from this angle and appreciate that little sliver of sky...

How about placing a small light aqua bicone on either side of it and using some light aqua fiber optic rounds and a dash of silver here and there. Is it too big for a chunky bracelet? Maybe....

This might be the perfect bead to use as a zipper pull! It would definitely give you some good leverage for easy zipping! I think I will give that a try! It would be cute on a blue or white sweatshirt. Perfect for a blue AND white zip-up sweatshirt. In that case, I think it should be primarily crystals around it with a little bit of ab finish.

If you have any other ideas for this one, please let me know!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Green & Yellow Grapes

Do you remember those giant glass clusters of grapes that were used as decorative items in the 1970's? They might go back further than that, but I remember them as being associated with that time period. They immediately came to mind when I saw this bead!

It seems to me I've primarily seen them in an amber color which, of course, would match the goldish-yellow or mustard-like tint that was very popular at the time. I believe I've also seen them at flea markets in a variety of colors including dark purple and a similar green to this bead.

These grape cluster beads are pretty cute, but you would definitely need some other beads to balance out the design. I think they would be nice with lots of gold. I'm thinking about those gold stardust beads that look like they have a coating of diamond dust glitter on them. Sounds fun and sparkly!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Black Fan/Shell Bead

Today's bead has a sort of art deco flair. I'd love to find some mirror beads of some kind to pair with these black beads, but I am not sure I have ever seen anything like that before. I'm going to have to do some searching. I'm sure silver, hematite or jet ab crystals would work nicely too, but it would be fun to find mirrors.

If you have ever seen anything like that, please let me know. Maybe I'll open my next fire mountain catlalog and find them just sitting there waiting for me. Would you believe that happened to me before? I was desperately trying to find black glass 3 hole spacers. I asked at bead shops and searched the internet with no luck. About a week later, I received a new fire mountain catalog and right there they were. It was magical so I didn't question it, I just ordered them! In fact, I ordered them in black, white and blue!

I hope you all had a nice weekend! Take care!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Holidays Bracelet!

Hello! I hope you are all having a nice weekend! As mentioned in an earlier post, I've been wearing this holiday bracelet all week. I must admit, this is probably the most sparkly holiday bracelet I have made. While it is a bit "blingy" and eye catching, I really love it. I'm glad I chose to use the sterling tubes around the sides because while using the computer mouse, I don't have beads pressing into my wrist which is always a plus!

I am very pleased with this design and think I need to make a catalog order very quickly so I can make a few more as gifts.

Have a great night!

Friday, December 12, 2008


We saw some flurries today, but luckily they didn't stick. Those are the BEST kind of snowflakes! They are wonderful and unique, but I'm not sure we always appreciate them because of the difficulties they can create for our travels.

I love shiny white glass beads and this one is perfect for pairing with some ab crystals for a sparkly snow effect.

I hope you are all getting ready for a nice crafty weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Little Brown Bead Caps

Aren't these interesting little beads? I believe they are glass bead caps with a color coating on them. I picked them up out of a bead mix because I had never seen anything like them before. Maybe I just don't get out enough!!

These made me think a little bit of mushroom caps or acorn tops. They would look pretty cute with a lighter brown or green colored "acorn" bead or a long thin tubular "mushroom stem" bead. Either of those would be cute and whimsical. If you could find a cute little gnome bead to put with them, I think that would be perfect!

Have a nice evening!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weird Wednesday Bead

Okay, maybe "weird" is a little harsh, but I meant it in the nicest way, really! Now, if this is supposed to be corn on the cob, it turned out really cute. If not, I'm not sure what it's all about.

So, how do you design something using this bead? I think you need to embrace it and think, farming, summer, sunshine, cross pollenation, harvest, veggies, etc. and put some beads with this that bring all of that to mind. Maybe some cute little tomato beads or cucumber beads with a few nice smiling suns dangling from it. I think I see it now.

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Clear Cut Glass

This is a clear, cut glass bead with holes on either side. I had never seen a bead like this before and found it by digging with a little shovel through a bead mix at a local bead shop. I love when bead shops dump large amounts of bead mixes in containers so you can dig through all the treasures to find one of your own.

I bought several of these beads, but haven't decided how to use them yet. They will need to be wired together with other beads, so I am thinking of using three of these beads wired in among lots of larger bright colored beads. Although it would also make a nice wintry bracelet mixed with bright white beads.

Hmm, I like the white and clear idea. I just need a little time to create!! Have a great evening!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sparkly Squaredelles

Hello! As I mentioned yesterday, I recently picked up some beads for holiday jewelry making. I have admired squaredelles from afar, but never bought them myself. As much as I love cubes, I thought this would be a good opportunity to use them. LOOK AT HOW SPARKLY THEY ARE!!

It's interesting how the creative process works and you come out of a bead shop with completely different beads than you originally planned. To be quite honest, I hadn't intended to buy beads for a holiday piece, I had gone in search of a particular clasp! As usual, the bright lights and sparkliness got to me!

Have a great evening!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Swarovski

Sunday often needs a little help in the sparkle department as we do our chores and get ready for the coming week. These 10mm swarovski cubes helped cheer me up quite a bit. Wait until you see the squaredelles I bought to go with them!! They are as yummy as sparkly beads get!

I bought quite a few bits and pieces today from Ally Beads so I could put a new holiday bracelet together. I haven't mapped it all out yet, but it will definitely sparkle!

Have a great week!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sparkle, Sparkle and More Sparkle!

Hello! I picked up another strand of these aqua pearls at the grocery store today since I didn't have a chance to make something for myself with them before. I had my bead box open and was looking through the stones because I knew I had the perfect one to go with these pearls. I hadn't planned on posting the final product here since I vowed that I was done talking about pearls and stones...HOWEVER, these swarovski buttons were in the same bead box and just for fun I experimented with putting them on the memory wire with the pearls.

As you can see, I liked how they looked so I went back and added a 3mm crystal bicone between each pearl just to help set them off and provide some matching sparkle. Talk about some serious sparkle, these buttons are amazing! It looks like they have a flashing light inside of them or something. If you ever come across some of these buttons, I would encourage you to pick up a couple of them just for fun.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Creamy Pearl & Stone Earrings

Since I'm still a little obsessed with pearls and stones with crystals right now, I thought it would be appropriate to share a pair of earrings with these materials. These are nice winter white earrings that can be worn with just about anything!

I'm afraid it's time to dig out those turtle neck sweaters, the only good thing is they really set off earrings nicely!

Have a great night!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sparkly Blue Button

WOW! I was so attracted to this button it didn't matter that I had no idea how I was going to use it, I just knew I needed to have it in my collection. To top it all off, the two matching buttons were packaged on this very cool pink card which set off the blue so well. I believe these came from JoAnn, Etc. The package was appropriately labeled, "glamorous gems".

So...what to do with this awesome button?!

I recently came across a project that involved clipping off the button shank and gluing it to a ring blank. I thought that was such a cute idea and would probably work great with this button. I love the multiple colors of rubber tubing available these days and would like to experiment with using several colors of tubing going through the button shank. Maybe knotting the tubing on either side of the button would be a nice way to stabilize it. I need to put a little more thought into this and if I figure it out, will share it with you.

If you have any ideas, please let me know!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Green Faceted Cube

Isn't this a great color?! A great shade of green that is not too dark and not too bright. It is the best of both worlds! This would make any holiday jewelry seem nice, rich and warm. Paired with cream colored pearls and a few gold accents such as bead caps would give it a subtle but festive appearance.

Of course, if subtle is not your goal, add bunches of red beads too! I like the darker red color "siam" for making holiday jewelry. Oh gosh, I wonder if I have time to make something tonight?!

Have a good one....!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Silver Leaves

Today's bead is a very small silver leaf. I normally buy packs of beads like this to use as a spacer or to add some whimsy to a simple bracelet. I was just thinking it would be nice to make a dainty bracelet that consists mostly of these silver leaves, but with a few clear ab crystals for sparkle.

These leaves remind me of the few leftover leaves out in the yard that are now covered in a dusting of snow and ice. Add a couple of milky white or bright white faceted rounds and a nice sparkly dangle for a sweet wintery bracelet.

Have a great night!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mix of Stones

I wanted to share some of the other stones that I found at JoAnn's recently. I am still a little hooked on using these with glass pearls on memory wire. I was never drawn to these stones before because I thought they were too big and clunky. I am so glad I gave them a try!

I think in the next one I will combine gold pearls with the caramel stone in this photo. I still have some gold rondelles left that will be placed on either side of the focal stone and possibly a crystal in between each pearl.

I hope you are staying warm out there and wearing shoes with good traction!