Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a tasty dinner of turkey, stuffing, roasted veggies, sweet potatoes, crescent rolls, and pumpkin dessert (not cake, not pudding, but somewhere in between). I cleaned up the dishes for my mom and now I'm giving her some computer guidance in between her phone calls from various relatives.

I won't have any time for claying this holiday weekend but here are some recent beadlings for your viewing pleasure...

My friend Marcy attended Carol Simmons' workshop a few weeks ago and came home with a lovely cane.  She had a few scrap slices so I asked if I could have some to test an idea. I layered several complementary sheets of color and then put the scaps on top and started running them through the pasta machine. As the layers got thinner, the underlayers started coming through giving a distressed look to the cane patterns.

For the beads above I sliced the sheet of stretched out cane into strips and wrapped them around a log of clay. I sliced the log into pieces about 1.25" long and loosely rolled them to squish them down and out without flattening the ridges too much. I cut circles out of the rest of the sheet and used them as endcaps.

 Fun TV... I am loving American Horror Story on FX. It is strange, creepy, and very dribbling out the mythology here! You have to start at the beginning because you learn new details every week. Here's the link to the first episode:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Beads: Ribbons

Yesterday I put a "curb alert" free stuff ad on Craigslist and some people came and took away old things I didn't want any more. Easy way to get rid of the relatively-useful-but-no-longer-wanted things taking up space in your house.
Fueled by my favorite treat --  0% fat plain Fage Greek yogurt mixed with Wild Strawberry Crystal Light for flavor -- I found inspiration and made some new "ribbon spool" beads. I like these...will do more experiments.

There are eight here. They sort of look like stacked pop caps!
Six beads here...wider ribbons
This is what you get if you roll a ribbon spool smooth! Halfway smooth makes an interesting bead also
but I have none to show you. Later...

Scrap clay was rolled into a sheet, a giant bolt was rolled across the surface, the top bumps were shaved off, and the sheet was smoothed. Then the whole sheet was rolled into a log, sliced and rolled into beads.
These guys are relatively small for me...about 1/2" diameter.
These also started as a sheet of scrap, impressed with the plastic cover from an old office cubicle fluorescent light. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jewelry: 2011 Holiday Necklace

I found a great "little black dress" for the company party this year. It hits just above the knee, has a figure-flattering shape, and an interesting scallop-puckered fabric that forgives any remaining flaws. It also has a deep "v" in front and back. And, as I happen to have super short hair, I got the idea to make a necklace with most of the interest in the back.

I stewed on a design for a few days and then went on a scouting trip to my favorite bead store, Crystal Bead Bazaar in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsbugh. I needed chain, a metal ring, and some dangly items. I had considered adding clay elements to my design but decided against it, opting to go simple and more delicate than my usual tendency might be.

As luck would have it, I found exactly what I needed: three different chains, a delicate sparkly ring, and 3 cones  in a gunmetal finish.
Note...the clothing shown here is not the fabulous dress mentioned above.
 The necklace is just long enough that it fits over my head, therefore, no clasp required. Good thing, because I couldn't figure out how I was going to make a clasp look good -- no idea I had in mind was wowing me.

The football-shaped links of one chain were joined by figure-8 shaped links which proved to be the ideal size to link all the chains to the ring. Once I figured out that I didn't need a clasp, the whole thing went together in about 20 minutes. I had one big crystal bicone that I wired into the center drop down the back. And for an added bonus, the metal cones at the end are like tiny wind chimes and make a delicate clinking sound when I move.

In other news...
Anyone watching "American Horror Story"? Freaky, bizarre, and interesting. I've watched all 4 episodes and I'm hooked. You can watch them online here:
Also watched the first two episodes of "Project Accessory" and enjoyed it. You can watch it here:


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