Friday, July 19, 2013

Focusing on Life - 29 of 52

This week, Sally asked us to focus on our routines.

This summer, our routine has been a bit bumpy, to say the least.  The time I generally had to myself during the school year is now spent driving to swimming lessons or playing games with the kiddo.

The routine that has stayed the same, though, is the kiddo's bedtime routine.

First, there is the jawhawk.

Then, there is the music.

The jayhawk is a blanket given to the kiddo by my in-laws.  The kiddo loves this blanket and, every night, she tells it (and my husband) about her day.  It gives her a chance to unwind and remember the cool things we did.

Her music is just as important to her.  I don't know why, but the kiddo loves the song from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."  We start with that, then listen to whatever the ipod decides to play next.  She loves the songs and listening helps her relax and (hopefully) sleep better.

Okay, so this isn't *my* routine.  However, my husband and both love the kiddo's bedtime routine and it really is a family routine.  :)

Please check Sally's blog to see what routines the other participants shared.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fancy Fish Blog Hop

I was hooked (pun intended) when Karen Williams decided to host a blog hop using her Fancy Fish tutorial.  I had been eyeing the tutorial for weeks and was excited to have an excuse to get it.

Karen mentioned in her post that she was looking for a design team and was kind enough to allow me to join.

As part of the team, I received a Fancy Fish kit along with the tutorial.  My kit contained different shade of blue seed beads, blue thread and several colors of core beads.  The core beads give shape to the beaded fish and really make them come alive.

I got to work and produced my first fish.

I used the size 8 beads from the kit to accent the tail and fins.  I added a 3mm crystal for the eye.

My husband, the fish expert, said it looked "very cool."  That is seriously high praise.  :)

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo, but Karen uses right angle weave in her design.  In her tutorial, she illustrates how thread color can make a difference in the finished fish.  Because right angle weave is an open weave, the core bead can show through a bit as well.

Karen included a burgundy core bead in the kit.  At first, I wasn't sure how it would work, but I love it in this fish.

I love how the burgundy bead peeks through.

In the tutorial, Karen also shows how to add stripes to the fish.  In the fish above, I used that technique to create a small blue stripe.

For my third fish, I went a bit wild with the stripes and used the rest of the colors in the kit.

I also used the size 8 beads in this fish.

I loved how so many different fish can be created from the beads in the kit.

When my daughter saw me making fish, she asked for a "Nemo" fish.  I looked at a few pictures of clown fish and altered the tail and fins from the tutorial to create this.

It's not a perfect clown fish, but my daughter really liked it.

For my last fish, I used fringe beads for the tail, fins and eyes.

I like how the drop beads stand up a bit and produce a great dorsal fin.

While beading these, I learned a few things about fish that I didn't know.  I could tell that Karen put a great deal of thought into her design.

If you would like to bead some of your own fish, check out Karen's tutorial.  If you are new to right angle weave, don't worry.  The first few pages in the tutorial show you exactly what you need to know.

I was able to find a few oval core beads at Michaels, but just in case, Karen sells core beads for her fish, as well as other tutorials, in her etsy shop.

Karen, thank you for a wonderful hop and it was an honor to be part of your team.

Please take some time to visit thee other blogs in the hop.  I bet you will see some cute and fancy fish.

Alison Oman (featured on Karen's blog)
Dolores Dwight (featured on Karen's blog)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Focusing on Life - 28 of 52

This week, Sally asked us to look for patterns.  As seems to be the case, I was a bit stumped until the kiddo and I visited the arboretum.

I love the patterns of pink and yellow in this one.

The "spikes" create an awesome pattern here.

This last one is my favorite.  I love the patterns in it.

Sally, thank you for another wonderful week.

Please take a few minutes to stop by Sally's blog to see what patterns  the other participants found.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Intricate Chain Maille part 2

Last month, I shared my version of  Rebeca Mojica's "Intricate Chain Maille."  I also mentioned that I bought a kit for my mom.

I finished mom's bracelet a bit differently than I finished mine.

As a result, mom's bracelet will lie flat, whereas mine would not.

Her bracelet is also not as puffed up in the middle.

I don't usually like to buy kits.  I like to choose my own colors and substitute different sizes or types of beads.

I would, however, absolutely recommend this kit from Blue Buddha Boutique.  The kit contains at least 50% more rings than are called for in the pattern.  This offers a versatility in color patterns and in how you can finish the bracelet.

"Intricate Chain Maille" builds around a slightly bigger version of Rebeca's "Coiled Butterfly" pattern.  (You can find "Coiled Butterfly" on Blue Buddha Boutique's website here or in the Fall 2012 issue of Wirework magazine.  To weave the "Intricate Chain Maille" bracelet, I think you need both patterns.)

Once you start building around the "Coiled Butterfly," the sky is the limit.  In both bracelets, I used the larger rings (dark blue on the left and purple on the right) along the edges.  This was not specified in the pattern, but since I had the extra rings, I wanted to put them to good use.

I had a great time playing with both bracelets and love that they look so different.

If you are interested in chain maille, check out Rebeca's store, Blue Buddha Boutique.  Blue Buddha offers a wide variety of patterns and kits.  (I want to try about ten of them.) 

You can also find Rebeca's book, Chained, on Amazon or on the Blue Buddha website.  Blue Buddha also offers kits for most of the patterns in the book.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Seasons Blog Hop

Lisa Lodge, of A Grateful Artist, is hosting another wonderful blog hop.

I've taken part in several of Lisa's blog hops and have loved each one.  Lisa grabs beads from her bead table, mixes them into wonderful bead soups and sends them to the participants.  I enjoy receiving a surprise soup and Lisa's mixes are always beautiful.

 This time around, the theme is "seasons."  Lisa said we can interpret this to mean seasons of the year or as seasons of our lives.

Here is my soup:

The clay beads are from Tree Wings Studio.  Rebekah makes beautiful beads and if you would like some for yourself, check out her etsy shop.

The first thing I noticed, though, were the shell beads.  I loved the shapes and the colors and immediately thought of walking along the beach in the summer.

I tried several different things, but settled on a spiral rope with a bit of a twist .. or fringe.

I love the way the shells look in the fringe.  I'm not sure if they look like they are buried on the beach, but they look comfortable nestled in the fringe.

I used a bead from Lisa's soup to create a clasp.

I am sad that I didn't incorporate Rebekah's beads, but I will hopefully use them in a future project.

Lisa, thanks again for a wonderful bead soup and blog hop.

Please take some time and visit the rest of the participants.  I know you won't be disappointed.

Lisa Lodge, Grateful Artist (our host)
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Cassi Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill
Stephanie Sanner Haussler, PixyBug Designs
Leah Mifflin Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
Karin Slaton, BackStory Beads
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Lori Jean Poppe, Lorillijean Creative Corner
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Erin Kenny, Beadifultherapy
Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress - you are here
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Renetha Williams Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Sierra Barrett, Giraffe Can Has
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Shirley Jones Moore, Beads and Bread
Dawn Horner, Northern Adornments
Charlene Bausinger Jacka, Clay Space
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
Miranda Ackerley, Daze and Days

Friday, July 5, 2013

Focusing on Life - 27 of 52

This week, Sally asked us to focus on texture.

Luckily, I stumbled on the perfect opportunity.

The kiddo was playing at a park and this was under the equipment.  I thought the texture was amazing.

Please take a few minutes to check out Sally's blog to see what textures the other participants found this week.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spike Ring

I bought Maggie Roschyk's book, Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry , about a year ago and love it.  The projects in the book use seed beads to frame or bezel larger beads, making them shine.

When I saw Maggie's "Sovereign Spike Ring" in the October 2012 issue of Bead and Button, I thought, "it's such a cool ring, but I could never pull it off."

Luckily for me, a friend saw the ring and said "I would totally wear that all the time."

I started pulling beads out and came up with this.

I loved how the bezel came together and it is a great way to use up left over beads.

I love the ring, though, with the spike, I probably wouldn't wear it.  I would, however, substitute a 6mm or 8mm pearl .. or the new Czech gumdrop beads .. or the pyramid beads.  I think you get the picture.  :)