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Another Christmas gift, this one for Ayn. One of the nice things about jewelry making is that less can be more, and if you have an great focal, like the ridiculously awesome Wonder Woman cupcake charm from The Bird and The Bee (I want all of their superhero cupcake pendants, especially the Thor one), you don't need or even want to do something complicated. So for this one I just added a few thematically appropriate beads, all acrylic (a bonus of making the whole necklace incredibly lightweight), to a silver-plate chain, and made an extender with the red acrylic star dangle.

More pictures here )
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I made a few shiny gifts for Christmas this year. Two I'll post later, as the recipients don't have them yet, but here's the one I did for my bestie, Mer.

The "Write" charm is etched wood from Bookish Charm. The charm next to it I made from two small matte gold Czech glass rounds, a paper bead with antique typewriter font alphabet letters from Gillian McMurray, and a tiny silver-plate key charm. Add in some faceted smoky pale gold Czech glass and acrylic, a sparkly green glass round, a mottled earth tones glass round, and a mosaic turquoise square. All on a silver plate chain.

More pics under here )
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Hallo. Long time, no shiny. My attempt to read 75 books this year sort of derailed my beading time, but here's some of recent bits and baubles:

shiny ahoy! )
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My mom's visit was nice, but I have my workspace back! I spent the afternoon today getting set back up and laying out a few projects.

What I'm working on )
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New stuff up on the Stellar Parallax Designs shop on Etsy. I'm still working on listing my back inventory, but new and nerdier things will start going up within a month. My workroom has to be turned back into the guest bedroom for my mom's visit this weekend, so actual beading time has been scarce. But I've got prep work done on some things for the pirate princess, chic gamer, and bad sci-fi movie fan in everyone.

I love Czech glass beads. They're versatile - coming in tons of varieties - and affordable, and are pretty much the main staple of my stash. And lately I've become obsessed with the Picasso finish Czech glass. It's a mottling effect that gives the glass the look of stone, in many cases, with beautiful variation and dept and effect of color.

I recently snagged these from another Etsy seller, destined for a mermaid or another octopus necklace, and spent a ridiculous amount of time drooling over others.
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My friend A. is a HUGE Tokidoki fan, and a comics fan, so she has been collecting the Marvel Tokidoki figures like a fiend. The other day she said that they would be great on a necklace or something to wear to Chicago Comicon this (now past) weekend. And I was all, "Shiny project ENGAGE!"

So I made her these from her collection: The Fantastic Four charm bracelet, and the Marvel Villains charm necklace, featuring Doc Ock, Red Skull, and the adorable Tiny Doom. The bracelet is primarily a blue mix Precosia Czech fire polished glass, and the necklace is primarily two-tone color crackle glass and silver Czech fire polished glass. Bead charms done on silver-plate head-pins.

more shiny below )
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Put this together on Saturday to wear to my SIL's baby shower on Sunday.

Lavender glass squares, lavender freshwater pearls, silver plated brass squares, 4mm silver plate spacers. Simple silver plate hook and eye clasp (not shown).


I also added a for sale sticky post at the top of this journal: Slowly updating that as I fight with my camera for decent shots.
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Even though I've been quiet here, I've been beading like mad the last couple of months. No pictures of most of it yet, because 1. I have about 12 mostly finished pieces (strung, just need finishing) and 2. I was waiting for a "fake neck" style display I ordered. That came in the wrong color, and I just got the replacement last week. So soon I'll have a whole bunch of stuff to spam you with.

But in the meantime, here's some snapshots of what I'm working on tonight:

The state of the bead board:

More shiny under the cut )
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So life got kinda crazy there for a while and everything not work related took a back seat, but with the holidays approaching, I kicked things into gear. I also have six pieces in the stage of "all strung, but need fiddly finishing bits," just ordered more beads (black labradorite) and a neck-shaped display stand for better picture taking, so expect more shiny in the new year.

Here's what I've been up to:

bigger images and descriptions under cut. Images link to larger versions. )
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I actually finished this last night, but right after putting on the crimp cover I noticed I had an unexpected extra silver square, which is never a good sign. *facepalm*

So today I took it apart and restring it with the recalcitrant bead.

Pearl and silver bracelet: Freshwater pearl coins and silver-plate squares. Large silver plate toggle clasp.

Magenta: Magenta freshwater pearls, pink/lavendar/white glass mix, silver-plate spacers, silver-plate hook and eye clasp.

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The Dryad Is In: Olive jade serpentine pendant. Green and brown mix seed beads on French wire. Green Toho triangles, freshwater pearls and dyed green shell beads on jewelry wire. Brass cones and a gold-plate hook and eye clasp.

Man, this looks almost nothing like my original thought, but I'm really happy with it. It was a pain, mostly in figuring out the best way to get the various strands to twist and retain the twist. I ended up restringing the shell beads on thicker jewelry wire so they didn't spin quite so easily, and that helped a lot.

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Choker. Mixed glass, freshwater pearls, pewter pinwheel spacers, silver-plate toggle clasp on jewelry wire.

Close up of toggle. More accurate to the actual colors.

Close up of the focal bead. I really need to get something in these for scale.
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Not much. Lazing about, writing, a bit of vacationing. Buying way too many beads. But I did just recently do this:

Pink Lemonade: Large pink crackle glass rounds, yellow and pink lampwork squares, sterling silver square spacers on heavy jewelry wire. Silver-plate hook and eye clasp.

Pink Lemonade detail view.

I also finished up the bulk of The Dryad is In. Just need to get a big gold heavy gauge jump ring to hang the pendant. It looks pretty different from my original envisioning (I ended up not using the bark-like pearls, and I did end up adding some green shell beads), but I quite like the final version. Pictures to come when I get it completed.

And, I finally got a handle on the stash, which was taking over half the living room floor. After I bought a pink travel case (to the left in the first picture) for storage, and still had crap spread all over the floor, D said, "We should get you a cabinet." An excellent idea.

The shiny stash in its new home. Box and bin on top for miscellaneous/extraneous bits, and everything else tucked neatly inside.

Closeup of the cabinet: Top shelf has bead boards, second shelf has books, box of pendants, box of finished pieces, and stringing supplies. Shelf three has all my beads.

My nicely organized and labeled boxes.

Man, does this set up make a huge difference in working. I'm able to pull out enough that I can work easily, the labeling makes it simple to find what I need, and it takes just a few minutes to pack it all away when I'm done - having the shelf on top for the bead boards makes me feel so much more secure about leaving half-finished projects about. Before the board just sat on top of the rolling file box I was using, covered by a bead cloth, and I just hoped the cat wouldn't decide to investigate too closely.
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A vacation and the garden have kept me otherwise occupied for a while, but here's some new stuff:

Anjie's necklace. Birthday present for my sister-in-law. Gold-dyed and white cultured pearls, seed bead spacers, and a gold/white focus on jewelry wire. Gold-plated S clasp.

Green Glass (also here and here). Tossed this together tonight with some big, faceted pale green glass beads I picked up the other day. Mixed green glass, copper rondelles on on jewelry wire. Copper Bali-style S clasp.

I also did a manly necklace for my husband for our seventh anniversary. I keep forgetting to steal it back from him for pictures.
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Finished the in progress piece from a couple weeks ago:

Blue and Copper

A Murano style silver foil glass pendant hangs from peacock blue cultured freshwater pearls and mixed copper beads on tigertail and antique copper chain. Finished with a large antique copper lobster clasp.

larger image here

More Copper and Blue )

Labradorite Spiral

I've had a string of labradorite chips for years that I wore as is, but recently thought, "Hey, I could get THREE necklaces out of this." This is the first one.

Labradorite chips, small sterling silver tube spacers stamped with circles, coppper rondelles, 2mm copper beads. Pendant is a base-metal 20mm embossed spiral square hung from a Thai silver curved tube, also embossed with circles. Finished with a copper Bali-style S clasp.

larger image here

The flash washed this out a lot. The colors are much better in the pictures below the cut.

Labradorite Spiral )
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The blue pearls are part of the stash I picked up as Penguicon. The copper is from a bag of mixed copper pieces I ordered recently. The pendant is glass.

larger image here
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So I went to an SF con over the weekend. Where I bought... beads. A cice little haul of semi-precious stones from a seller who's getting rid of their bead stock, including some gorgeous black and grey agate rounds (I'll post pictures of the haul later).

New shiny things here )
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Finally got Parchment Roses, Green with Envy and Seaside Geometry (all in this post) up on Etsy.

Also found a bead seller on Amazon marketplace that has a good price on half-hard sterling wire. Ordered a spool and will see how it is. I've been wanting to do some wire-wrap work.

Think this weekend's project is going to be playing with some of the copper-color craft wire I picked up a while back. I was thinking of a long coil of copper wire slipped on a leather cord for stability, and maybe with some glass beads interspersed between the coils. And I also want to do a blue variant on Green with Envy, with some of the foil finish glass beads I got the other day.

I also want to hit up a couple of thrift stores and see what I can find to cannibalize and re-purpose. Especially different varieties of chain. I picked up this book called Bead Simple that has some really cool pieces using with vintage or thrifted jewelry and pins, which is an idea I really like, that re-imagining.


Apr. 4th, 2008 09:05 pm
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I love coming home to a Fire Mountain Gems box full of shiny. I used my sister-in-law's upcoming birthday as an excuse to buy some awesome dyed freshwater pearls, and threw in some glass beads of various colors and finishes for good measure. I really like working with glass beads; they can be inexpensive, yet always look sturdy and nice. I got some two-toned crackle-finish, and some great foil finish that are big enough to make great focal pieces.

If I don't get totally sucked into the third Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series book tomorrow, I'll finally do a big update to Etsy.

New pictures behind cut )
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Reworked this into:

larger image here

larger image here

While I liked the first version, the excess wire from the seed bead that I wrapped around the bare tigertail looked sloppy. And once I had it all apart, it meandered off into the above as I started to put it back together. This is not unlike how I write.

I'm going to do another necklace with the seed bead wrap, because I thought that was really neat. I have these awesome small square iridescent beads which will look really neat as a choker with a string of seed beads spiraled around it.
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