Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Skeleton Key for a Collaborative Art Project

Hello! I received my materials today for the Artiscape event in mid April where I will be taking Tonia Davenport’s plexiglass choker class. How exciting!! I received a gorgeous name tag that was actually a packet of beautiful cardstock with a wired organza neck ribbon running through it. Inside is the ticket for my class as well as an agenda for the 4 day event and pages for autographs. VERY nice!

Today’s bead is actually a small skeleton key that came with the Artiscape packet as part of a collaborative art project. It came in a cellophane packet that included this card explaining the art project which includes a charity auction on the last day:

A collaborative Art Project: “unlocking inspiration”
Take part in this collaborative art project by creating a work of art with a skeleton key! Anything goes here, from jewelry to canvas work to handbound books, as long as a skeleton key is somehow included (use of actual key is optional). Pieces are collected at event and displayed en masse, a wonderful display unveiled at Saturday’s “Age of Innocence” party. A silent auction follows (ends Sunday noon). Proceeds benefit the women’s fund of central Ohio. Have fun, be creative, it’s all for a good cause.

I’m excited to work this key into a jewelry project since I’ve never worked with something like this before. I’m open to ideas if you want to throw any out there! Thanks a bunch!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Silver and Gold: The Perfect Combo

Guess what I received in the mail today???!! Here's a hint....It has a silver band, gold face, sparkly crystals and I will be making earrings to match out of today's beads in silver and gold.

It's the coolest flash drive bracelet!! Very exciting!

I mentioned some flash drive jewelry pieces on twitter and facebook recently after reading about them on the Beading Gem's Journal. My first thought was, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?" My second thought was, "I'm going to have to have one of those!"

It came today and as I mentioned before, I need a pair of earrings to go with it. I like the idea of using some gold chain, but I won't know for sure until I sit down to make them. If you have any suggestions, by all means, please let me know!!!

Thanks to the Beading Gem for always sharing interesting information and tips!!

Hope your Monday is going well!! Take care!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jewelry Making w/ Scrapbooking Supplies

Hello! I couldn't resist these scrapbooking brads knowing that I still had a silver bracelet blank from Rings and Things that I hadn't used. I picked these up at Michael's and used my 40% off coupon from Joann, Etc. What a great deal!

I clipped the little metal pieces off the back of the scrapbooking disks so they could easily be glued flat to the bracelet's disks. I was surprised that they were just slightly too big to use one on each of the bracelet disks. Luckily, I had a row of clear sticky backed gems left over that I had found while working on another project. I LOVE it when things work out that way! They fit perfectly on the bracelet disks in between each of the scrapbooking disks.

This is a simple project, the most difficult part was waiting for the glue to dry!!! It's still not quite dry, but I'm wearing it anyway. Is patience really that important in life or crafts??? : )

To answer that question myself, YES, it's pretty important in relation to glue... One of the little gems slid a tad bit causing a tiny stream of glue to find its way to the side of the gem... Ask and you receive an answer!

I removed 3 of the bracelet disks before gluing on the embellishments so it would fit my wrist and will be making earrings out of them with a couple of the remaining black and white brads. There were two in the package with the same design, but I guess they wouldn't really have to match.

I hope you all had a great weekend!!! Best wishes for a wonderful new week!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Interchangeable Bead Ring

I visited a local bead store in a large shopping mall today because I had generously been given a gift certificate from a friend around the holidays. I have never been to a bead store in a giant, state of the art, shopping mall before and was surprised to see such a thing!

It's an adorable shop and the crowd of shoppers was amazing! People were funneling in and out at a pretty consistent pace. I noticed a list of classes and events and wanted to learn more, so of course, I searched out a website and found The Busy Beaders! I noticed something very cool on their site called the "Bead Swap". Here are the details:

"Let someone else's old beads become your new treasures! Place $5 worth of beads and/or findings in a clear, resealable bag. Bring as many bags as you want. You will leave with the same number of bags that you came with. The number of bags you bring will also be the number of chances you have to win a variety of door prizes. Meet and mingle with other beaders for inspiration and fun. Refreshments provided." Very NICE! I just wanted to share, especially for anyone in the central Ohio area.

Now, to the extremely cool interchangeable "Tension" Bead ring that I purchased with my gift certificate!! True to form, I got a little carried away with interchanging beads to show you!! I'm thrilled with this purchase and so glad I checked it out! I purchased the black and silver bead at the shop and used several beads from my collection to show below.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Danielle's Designs: Polymer Clay & Decopauged Jewelry

Hello! Here we are, so fortunate to have once again made it to a Friday evening! I have been excited to share this week's designer with you for a couple weeks. When I came across her polymer clay designs, I thought they were spunky and cute. THEN, I saw her decopauged bangles. Wait till you see these, very clever!! She uses pages from magazines for most of her designs.

I loved the idea of decopauging these with specific etsy site url's. That's pretty creative! She'll personalize them for fellow etsy crafters!

Her Etsy shop is called, "Danielle's Designs" and she can also be found on Twitter.

Below are just a couple more of her many creative designs. For more fun and creativity, check out her site.

Have a great weekend!!! Thanks to Danielle for letting me share her work!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sleek Strand of Wood Beads

Today's beads are part of a strand of dark wood beads. They seemed so sleek and uniform I thought they would make a nice band to set off a focal bead. My first thought is always about making bracelets for some reason! I'm sure these would be nice in a necklace too!

I thought I'd like to place some kind of spacer in between each of the wood beads to give it room to move around a little bit. However, on second thought I prefer the sleeker look of the wood beads all lined up together. I've got some nice tumbled stones that would work perfectly as the focal bead. Actually, I think I have several of them. Well, that probably means someone is going to get a gift soon...

I hope your week is going well!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Glass Aqua Chips

I have a serious thing for anything aqua!! I originally bought some strands of aqua glass chips for a piece of jewelry that never came to fruition. I had also bought some adorable, tiny little sterling dolphins to go along with the chips.

They've been hanging around in a baggie which I look through at least once a week. I need to come up with a design to use these now because I am so ready for spring and the beautiful colors that come with it!! This color reminds me of the water in the caribbean....mmmm, so nice! As a kid I didn't realize that swimming pools were designed to look like the caribbean. I just thought that was the look of a swimming pool!

It wasn't until I was ferried from a cruise ship to a private island in the middle of nowhere that I realized it. (I didn't have cable TV growing up!)

I am planning to use these chips along with the recent light aqua 4mm bicones that I posted recently. I am also considering using the large sized swarovski cubes in the same color.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Carved Focal Bead

Today's bead is 1.5 inches long which would make a great bracelet focal bead! These would work perfectly on a 2 or 3 strand bracelet as the focal point. 2 or 3 of these beads lined up on their strands with "bands" of beaded strands, sounds interesting!

I'd love to see a band made of ivory pearls or mother of pearl! That would be a nice combination of textures and shapes. These would also look great in a knotted hemp cord piece, particularly as the focal bead in a choker. Very cool and hip (or maybe that should be "hippie")!

Either dressing this bead up by using pearls and crystals or by letting its cool vibe hang out with hemp cord, this is definitely a noticeable bead!

Hope you are all having a great week so far!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Angelic Boro Lampwork Bead

Hello! I came across a website recently that was advertising a Free Bead of the Month. Of course after seeing this bead below ("small lentil with windows"), I was ready to get signed up for the drawing!
I took a few minutes to read the info on this site by Sandra Saylor Seaman. She spoke about her journey from Bead Store owner to lampwork bead designer very matter-of-factly. My first thought was how she was obviously destined to make lampwork beads. When you hear stories like this, you realize that there aren't really any "mistakes" as our path takes us in different directions, there are just a number of different stops we have to make to get there!

Thanks to Sandra for allowing me to share this information as well as her gorgeous beads. Check out her etsy site for more gorgeous work!

Sandra's website is entitled, "One Bead at a Time: Fresh and original lampwork glass beads and Jewelry by Sandra Saylor Seaman".

Today's bead is Sandra's "Angelic Boro Becoming Bicone Lampwork Glass Focal Bead." Her description of this bead is wonderful:

This bead style was born when I kept noticing how much I liked my bicone beads before they were smooth and completed. Thus - the "Becoming" bead name - so a little bead reminder that it is all about the journey, not the destination. This one has a transparent pale aqua base with speckles of cream and "wings" of clear glass.

I also LOVED these gorgeous bubble boro beads (below)...the colors are so beautiful! Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Arts&Crafts Saga Continues...

Gosh, it's hard to believe this weekend is ending... I'm going to enjoy every last minute of it! My arts and crafts day sort of turned in to more of an arts and crafts weekend! It might be a while before I have an entire weekend to dedicate solely to playing with beads.

After gluing a pearl onto a gold disk in yesterday's project, I wanted to try using that combination to embellish a gold plated bracelet blank from Rings&Things. I didn't have a heavy gauge gold wire that was needed to attach the swarovski pearls inside the loops so I cut the heads off some head pins. There wasn't enough room to do wire wrapping without taking the bracelet apart, so simple wire loops worked great.

The gold disks were already drilled and ready for dangles. I am so glad I realized it would be easier to hang the dangles before gluing the disks!! Very easy! Let me know what you think. It's a lot of pearls, but they are slightly different tones.

Even though there aren't any crystals in this bracelet, it seems kind of sparkly! Must be the crystals inside the swarovski pearls shining through. Did you know the pearls have a crystal in the center? Pretty cool...I'm not sure of the purpose of that, the swarovski rep that taught a class I took said it was a top secret process. I'm not sure if that's really true or if he was pulling our legs.

Best wishes for a great week!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Arts & Crafts Day!

Hello! Today was a fun and crafty day and, as usual, when there is glitter and glue involved, I have a tendency to get a little carried away! The best part of an arts and crafts day is the FUN! If I go into a crafting project too concerned about the outcome, it's rare that I will even complete it. I will start over several times and get a little frustrated. That's NOT fun!

I have been wanting to play with these brass frames from Rings & Things, but haven't had a chance until now. I really had a great time with these, but it was hard to narrow it down to one direction. I wanted to put every craft supply I own in them!

I glued some Toho cubes in the rectangle frame in a design that I thought resembled a peyote stitched piece! No needle and thread involved in this one. I wanted to dangle something off the bottom, so I used a round gold link piece that is drilled on each side and covered the top hole with a pearl. I thought about using a gold chain or rubber tubing to hang this on, but found this 2mm satin stringing cord in my craft supplies and thought it worked nicely.

Now, here's where I believe my crafting gene kicked into overdrive (below)! I can't think of anything else I could have added to this one! It involved cutting off the pendant loop and drilling 4 holes in the corners, sanding, cutting scrapbook paper, using a stampin-up flower shaped paper punch, modpodging, using diamond dust and press on plastic gems, jump ring assembly, stringing rubber tubing and crimping! Like I said, can you think of anything else I could have added? OH yeah...did you see the swarovski butterflies hanging off the jump rings? :)

I wore this all day and it gave me such a happy feeling! This is precisely why I don't have a bedazzler, though! Nothing would be safe!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Clever & Cute Button Rings

Is this ring adorable or what? I have to admit this green "Retro Betty" ring really got me. It reminded me of going through flea markets and finding that one room that was set up entirely in the most kitschy 1950's classic designs. I always felt like moving into that booth space, like it was home. I can't explain it, but I think you just know on the inside when you come across things that speak to you and give you a good feeling.

I had never even thought about the possibility of using buttons like this and was amazed at the creativity of this designer, Black Rose, from London. She kindly agreed to allow me to post her ring here, which I appreciate! I just had to share!!

Below is the description from her Artfire site:
"Look how Retro Betty shimmers and dazzles as you move your finger - she loves to be noticed!!All three gorgeous pearlised buttons are upcycled vintage. The bottom two have striping and the little green top button is plain throughout. The silver plated ring base is adjustable and will fit upto larger fingers.Base button is 30mm wide."

Here is another of her ring designs that is too cute for words...like bead candy! I guess that would be button candy!

I hope everyone is gearing up for a great and crafty weekend! Yay!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

25¢ Garage Sale Find

This collection of beads was discovered at a garage sale in Florida by my Mom for a total of 25¢. There was also a bag of the exact same beads in amethyst, which I was also gifted with. A pretty interesting lot don't you think?

The more I study it, the more I wonder whether this was previously a piece of jewelry or if it was a bag of beads that someone added wires to with the intention of making something. It's hard to say. Maybe they were made by the person giving the garage sale...

I had these out on my work surface a while back and clipped off the wires from some of the small drops. I added new headpins and connected a handful of them to a small piece of chain. Apparently I was interrupted and put everything away. Now I have no idea what I was going to make. I like the colors and the effect of light shining through them, but am not having much inspiration as far as creating something with them.

I would love to hear some ideas!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunny Days

Hello! I hope everyone was able to enjoy a bit of warmth and sunshine today. It was 71 and gorgeous here in Ohio!! Just knowing there won't be snow and ice in rush hour traffic is such a relief!! Let's hope that's all behind us for the season!!

Today's sunny faceted drop beads are adorable and tiny. I'm guessing they are probably just a tad larger than 4mm on the drop end. There are so many uses for drop beads of this size. I tend to use beads like this as earring or chain link dangles. They are also small enough to use on an ankle chain. I'd say those are the more obvious uses for these beads. If you enjoy using the right angle weave in your jewelry designs, these beads would add some flair to a simple right angle weave "chain" pattern. Using them as the outer beads and bright multicolor bicone or crystal rounds as the inner, or shared, beads would make a nice springy gift to yourself or a friend.

We really owe it to ourselves to celebrate life and the little milestones as we go along the path, such as the transition from one season to the next. Remembering to celebrate friendships is also important since it is easy to take them for granted. What a nice, unexpected surprise it would be to give or receive a sparkly piece of jewelry just in time for the the spring wardrobe change.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shell "Surfboard" Bead

Isn't this a cool bead? It's so liquidy-pearl looking! I thought it had a bit of a surfboard vibe to it and should definitely be used in a piece that represents the ocean in some way. This is another $1.00 find from my weekend trip to Joann's. Not on my list, but what can I say? Is it possible to pass up a strand of 10 of these beads for $1?
The holes on either end are pretty much asking to be linked together with jump rings or wire wrapped loops. I have a tendency to gravitate toward silver or silver plated findings, but the nice ivory tone in these shell beads would work beautifully with gold toned findings. Hey, I just thought about those gold jump rings I bought recently... How about making wire wrapped loops to go through the bead holes and using the one and only chainmaille pattern I know (1-2-1 ?) to connect the loops. I think that would make a nice necklace, no focal bead, just sort of simple.

What do you think? Okay, I suppose I could dangle something from it...AND, I will probably need to add a few crystals within the chainmaille pattern. Let me know!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wood Focal Bead

Hello! Would you agree that this wood focal bead has a nice, large surface perfect for decopauging!? Hmm... I just had the mod podge and glitter out yesterday which means it is still within reach!

This bead is over an inch long and 1/2 inch wide. Perfectly decopaugeable!! The best part is I found a strand of 14 at Joann's on sale for $1.00!!! I have some fancy designer craft papers, but it's also fun to work with clipart photos. If you have microsoft word, there are several gorgeous beach scenes with palm trees that would be fun to print out and glue on! You could also print out some fun photos of kids or pets, that would be a nice way to show them to your friends! I can see all the Grandma's heading for their computers to print out the grandkids' photos!

I think I'd like to try a beach scene or other nature photo. The photo will probably dictate the type of beads used for the bracelet band. You could even slide a couple pieces of hemp cord through the bead and do a few knots on either side for a fun, casual vibe! I'm seeing lots of dangles on hemp cord in my vision!!!

Let me know what you think! Have a good one!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Love, Peace and Happiness

Well, here we are again, the weekend is coming to a close. It was a good one, although they always seem so short once it gets to be Sunday evening.

I hope you aren't too tired of hearing me go on about the Time/Life compilation, "Flower Power". I'm not sure when I will tire of it, I'm not sure I will. There are 10 discs full of wonderful works that not only entertain, but provide glimpses of another period in time. Last week, I was unusually taken by the song "Ball of Confusion" by the Temptations. I usually like to focus on the positive and there is so much angst and pain in this song about this period of political uncertainty, racial tension and inequality in addition to economic crisis. I discovered that in 2009, this song actually provided hope. Clearly, people survived, times changed, improvements were made and the future arrived. It's exciting to think about all the things yet to come in our future.

I like to follow up that song by listening to the Chambers Brothers simple, but powerful song called Love, Peace and Happiness.

"All our love, peace, and happiness; We're gonna give to you now...All our love, peace, and happiness: And you can share yours too...All our love, peace, and happiness: We're gonna give to you, yeah...All our love, peace, and happiness; You can share yours too.

It's a small step for man, But it's a giant leap For all mankind...I got love, I got peaceI got happiness and You can have it too, yeah; Together, we stand...Divided, we fall; Love, peace, and happiness...Is the best part of all...Oh, love, peace, and happiness...Oh, love, peace, and happiness...Oh, love, peace, and happiness...Oh, love, peace, and happiness."

I think I'm going to try using this package of peace signs in a simple bracelet using the same size jump rings. I'm approaching chainmaille very slowly with simple designs and I think this would complement a piece nicely. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fun with Bracelet Blanks

Saturdays with no formal committment are wonderful for drifting from one fun project to another. Throw in a craft store or two and it's a little bit of heaven!

I've been tossing around ideas for using these bracelet blanks from Rings&Things this week. In fact, I took a couple of them to work and asked some non-beading coworkers for their thoughts.

Most people seemed to go the conservative route and suggested gluing flat back beads to the disks. A couple suggested using it as a charm bracelet. I did have a conversation with one crafter about decoupaging flat round wooden craft disks. We also talked about using decorative paper punches and decoupaging the cut-outs.

I thought about using the tiny black jump rings I featured recently in some way to hang some dangles from the links, but didn't like the look of that. It then occurred to me to add the outer strands using this simple chainmaille design and as it took shape, I really liked it.

I was able to find the black flat-back disks in the scrapbooking section of the craft store to glue on the disks. I must say I like the look of this finished product. Let me know what you think and if you have any other cool ideas!

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tonia Davenport: This Week's Featured Designer

What a wonderful time of the week!! Friday night with nothing pressing for two whole days except buying and playing with beads..sounds like a dream!!

I'm very excited to share this week's designs with you by Tonia Davenport, plexiglass jewelry designer, author and editor. Her latest book, PlexiClass, Cutting Edge Projects in Plastic, has some ultra-cool projects that involve using either plexiglass or shrink plastic.

I am extremely proud of the fact that I have an autographed copy of this book and have spent many hours studying it! I have lots of favorites, but think her shrink plastic bracelet called, "save the trees" is amazing. It looks like it is made of wood, but the effect was made using markers prior to baking.

A few of her other cool designs on Etsy are below. You can also see what interesting things Tonia is working on or chatting about on her blog AND, she is teaching a class at Artiscape in Ohio next month which might still have a spot open (check the above site for more info).


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Swarovski Disco Balls!!

Wow, talk about sparkly! I've had these beads for a while, but they ended up mixed in with some other clear crystals until I spotted them yesterday. I was calling them "disco balls" because I wasn't sure what they were actually called.

Well, much to my amusement, here is what I found:
Crystal AB Swarovski Crystal 5003 Disco 6mm

If you haven't seen this bead in person, it is well worth the effort of seeking it out. I'm not sure an online photo can do it justice. They are faceted just as the swarovski rounds, but there is something unusual happening down the middle of them that involves slightly thinner and more rectangular facets that make the beads appear almost smooth. I've included another view below, but it still doesn't appear as it does to the naked eye.

I'd like to make a 12-bead right angle bauble out of these, but 6mm might be too large. I'll have to look into finding these in the 4mm size. These 6mm beads will work perfectly as little disco ball earrings at the end of long silver chains or long silver lined/clear bugle beads. That's what I like to call the "Mrs. Wiggins" earrings (for any Carol Burnett TV show fans).

I don't know about you, but I am anxious to bring this work week to a close!! Have a good one!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Swirly Button

I love using buttons in jewelry and thought this adorable swirly button would make a great ring! I had seen some instructions for using buttons as rings by cutting off the button shank and gluing the button front to a ring blank. Cool idea!

I think you could also use this small button as a ring by stringing some e-beads for the band and the shank would fit nicely in between them. Small silver rounds would also make a nice band with this button.

If you like dainty bracelets, this button would be an adorable focal piece. Using some twirled silver wire embellishments would really give it some character.

Too cute!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sunny Yellow Citrine

Hello! We experienced extremely warm weather in the 70's in central Ohio today, that is unbelievable! In celebration of that fact, I wanted to share these sunny yellow 4mm 2xab citrine bicone crystals. Bright and inviting!

I was just looking through some bead catalogs and wondering if the employees at the swarovski bead factory need to wear sunglasses due to the glare from all the gorgeous crystals!! I think that is one industrial risk I would take...eye strain due to the glare of swarovski crystals.

These would look adorable on a necklace using clear monofilament or stretchy cord in little groups of sunbursts. Cute!!

I hope your week is going well!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

White Opal Swarovski Round a.k.a. Sparkle Galore!

Today's bead is a 6mm swarovski round in white opal ab. This is some serious yummy sparkle! I forgot I had a pretty good sized package of these for a project that took another path. This is just what I needed to brighten up my evening!

Sparkly jewelry also does a great job of chasing away the doldrums or the blues, whatever the case may be. Sort of like a wearable drop of sunshine! The next time you are feeling down, empty out a bag of crystals into your hand and spend some time really looking at them. The sparkle is quite amazing and inspiring.

I'd like to weave a handful of these into a bracelet focal piece. A right angle weave flower design would be cute or just a simple bauble. The effect of a grouping of these beads is nice and comforting.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Czech Glass Bicone

Several years ago I came across a bracelet cuff design using czech glass bicones with a similar design pattern as these. It appeared to be made using a peyote stich. It was a diagonal design that made the beads fit together like a puzzle. I thought it was a great way to use these beads and kept it in the back of my mind.

When I saw these beads and their spring like colors, I thought I'd add them to my collection in hopes of making that diagonal cuff. I'm going to need to get out my special issue of Bead & Button magazine called "Beading Basics: Stitches" from 2006. This poor magazine has seen better days from all the page turning I have done. I bought it after learning the flat odd-count peyote stitch on a beading cruise. I got a bit hooked on it for a while to say the least.

Well, I just got the magazine out and took a quick look through it. Now I'm not sure what type of stitch it was that made these beads into an interlocked cuff. It might even have been a variation of the right angle weave. I'm going to need to experiment a bit to figure it out. Sounds like a fun challenge!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jump Rings, etc. Earrings

Hello!! I've been having fun playing with these tiny little black rings and might have gotten carried away with these earrings, I'm not sure. They look pretty cute when I put them on. I liked the swirlyness of the rings. I added a couple of crimp tubes and a faceted black round to give them a little more character. They seemed a bit bare without them.

I might make a little focal piece out of the same links and beads and connect them to a neck chain or plain black beading wire. I like the look of having just a focal piece on a thin wire, but that's me!

I hope you are all having a nice weekend and enjoying some unseasonably pleasant weather as we are!

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Gooey Cute" Chokers

This choker design is so adorable, I immediately understood the use of the words "gooey cute" to describe it! I was fascinated by the design and the fact that there is a line of "gooey cute" chokers on this Etsy site!!

The designer is Nathalie from Dour, Belgium whose Etsy Site and blog are entitled, Dina Fragola, Gothica Kawaii Clothes & Accessories. I couldn't get over these gooey creations and I'm not sure where she finds all these cool pieces and parts to work with.

She also has some pieces that are called, "way too cute"! I love it!

I hope you are all off to a great weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shiny Gold Jump Rings

Today's beads are the shiny gold jump rings I mentioned yesterday. I had fun casually linking these together just using my fingers rather than pliers. I wasn't going for a finished product, but wanted to see how many it would take to make a bracelet and if I liked the look of it.

I'm not sure what the official pattern is called. It has 2 links connected to 1 link connected to 2 links, etc. I just searched a few sites and couldn't find a name for it, possibly because it is so simple. I also noticed most designs did not have beads dangling from them, which is what I'd like to do! I can see how this could become addictive, especially if you have lots of different colors and sizes.

I need to do some additional research to find out if there are special pliers that can be used so the metal does not become damaged by opening and closing the rings. Any information or guidance is appreciated, it's a brand new world for me!

Have a great evening! By the way, if you have a chance, take a look at this chainmaille work on Etsy by Ikow Designs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Anodized Aluminum Rings

Hello! Today's beads are the most adorable little black jump rings. The tube reads, "Anodized aluminum rings 18G, 3/16". It appears there are 300 of them!! Very exciting!

I thought I would use these to practice some chainmaille designs. I have never attempted chainmaille before, but I came across an unbelievable website recently that piqued my interest. I hadn't paid much attention to chainmaille before because it seemed so complicated. On the website, The Blue Buddha Boutique, I searched through the classes they teach and was amazed. There were gorgeous, intricate and interesting designs that were not just in standard metal finishes, but also in a variety of bright colors.

It was like a light switch was turned on in my brain, I finally got it! It made sense and, while it still seemed complex, it didn't appear to be as difficult as I had previously thought. I did buy some pretty and shiny gold rings in a much larger size as well, but these baby rings seemed like so much fun. I was drawn to all the bright colors, but wanted to stick with basic black to start with so I could wear it to work. I like to live with things for a while to see if I really like them.

I did spend a few minutes linking up all the gold rings and it didn't take any time at all to follow a simple chainmaille pattern. That was certainly very encouraging! I'll keep you posted on these little guys.

Have a great evening!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gray/Silver Dangles

Today's bead caught my eye because it is tiny, shiny and cute! These are clear glass on one side and matte silver on the other. They are perfect for earrings especially if you add some bright silver or a few small crystals.

If you had plenty of these, they would be nice wired to bright silver chain links. For anyone who wears a lot of black, a bracelet and earrings made of these beads would brighten things up a bit. Mixing these up with some comet argent crystals and gray pearls would be very cute too!

I hope everyone is having a great week so far!