Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Crafty Resolutions - Eighth Month Update

Okay, I meant to do this in June, at the 6th Month mark,but I was busy (buried under projects). So here's an update a few months later.

Beaded Desert's Beading/Jewelry Making Resolutions for 2008

  • Spiral rope using one of those great lampwork focal beads I bought off Etsy
  • Experiment with wire rings [SEE PREVIOUS POST WITH THE FOUR RINGS!]
  • Learn one complex beading stitch (tubular peyote, herringbone, weaves, etc)
  • Complete one piece using the stitch above
  • Complete one bead crochet piece (now that I know how to do this)
  • Experiment more with metals (cold connections/soldering, actually finishing something...)
  • Buy more delicas!! [UM, YEAH, LIKE THAT WAS A HARD ONE]
  • Experiment more with wire pieces [DONE, BUT THERE WILL BE MORE]
  • Work on a holiday line beginning in August [HMMM, ITS AUGUST, MAYBE I SHOULD GET ON THIS ONE....]

That wraps things up for this post (wow, three posts in one day, I'm going for a record here). Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Phoenix Bead Expo Goodies! - Photo Update

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I took some classes at the Phoenix Bead Expo in May of this year. I am now in love with making chain maille! But I learned that I need to get some better tools if I plan to make more. Cheap chain nose pliers and 6 hours of working = very, very, very sore hands (that sport a lovely red mark across the palm).

The first class was the Open Roundmaille with Crystals Bracelet. This was a fun and fairly simple weave, once you got past the first couple of rows of rings and mastered the pattern. It's made using a core of 4mm bicone Swarovski crystals (I chose a dark teal blue, since darker colors show up better), and sterling silver 18 gauge 5.5mm ID jump rings. I managed to finish the bracelet in just two hours. Here's a shot of my finished masterpiece:

Open Weave with Crytals

Since I had two hours to spare before my afternoon class, I had a quick bite to eat (an overpriced quick bite to eat, but that's convention center food for you) and then I hit the Bead Bazaar (the most important part of the Expo). I was actually a little disappointed in the bazaar. It was no where near the size it had been a few years ago when I went, and it only took up half of the ballroom it was in. It took me less than half an hour to walk all the way around and pause at every booth. But Jane's Fiber and Beads had a huge booth, so I stopped in and picked up some seed beads. (Jane's provided me with some stellar customer service via email a couple of months back, and I'm now a loyal fan. They are my new Silamide supplier.)

The afternoon class was the Turkish Roundmaille with a Twist bracelet. This actually used the same beginning weave as the Open Roundmaille, so having that one under my belt made it that much easier to learn this weave. It is made using 18 gauge 3.5mm ID sterling silver jump rings (both smooth and twisted). I only completed half of the bracelet in class, it was a more complicated and ring intensive piece. But so much fun. Since my tools were less than ergonomic, it took me a while to finish. Here's a close up shot:

Turkish Twist

The classes were both taught by Sue Ripsch. She has had pieces featured in Step by Step Wire Magazine. She sells kits for projects and I highly recommend them. The kits include great step-by-step instructions with plenty of pictures as well as enough rings to complete the project in a number of sizes. After the classes I just had to purchase another kit and I'm looking forward to a little European 4-in-1 fun over the next few month. Here's a shot of the work in progress:

European 4 in 1 Chain Maille

So if you haven't tried chain maille yet, I highly recommend you look into taking a class. I am so happy that I did, and not just because I can cross one more resolution off the list for the year! ;D I'm hooked now. So hooked in fact that I splurged and bought some high quality tools so I can create more pieces with less pain. Ain't they perty?

Tools, Beautiful Tools!

Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Beaded Goodness - Photo Update!

Okay, as promised, I'm going to post some pictures of my recent work.

First up, I bought a wire weaving kit a few months back and here's the results of my first attempt at this:

Wire Weaving Cuff

Wire Weaving Cuff

And here is some recent bead work:

Pearly Spiral Rope

Pearly Spiral Rope - Close Up

(I'm hooked on the spiral rope, what can I say)

Lilacs Cubed

Limes Cubed

(This was a fun little pattern that only took a few hours, so I just had to make two)

Kazuri Bead Bracelet
(Yummy, Kazuri beads)

And I bought some great beads and tools recently (along with a bevy of PMC supplies that I have yet to photograph, including a kiln!!):

Delicious Delicas!
Delicious Delicas!

Tumblin' Along
Tumblin' Along

Tools, Beautiful Tools!
Luscious Lindstrom Pliers

Ducks and Pearls, Oh My!
Tasty Pearls and Adorable Ducks (pardon the blur)

Kutless, Music to Bead To
Just one of the CDs I bought. Music to bead to.

Well, that's all I have for this update. I also made a sunglasses cord for my mom. But it ended up being extremely heavy, so I'll be converting it a necklace. Some other projects I've been playing with, but didn't photograph are some bookmarks and a few pendents (the pendants will hopefully be done soon, and I will be listing them in my Etsy shop, watch for that update).

Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quick Update!

I was kidnapped by the yarn pixies a few weeks back. But I managed to escape last week, when I finally finished that darn purple wash cloth. Man, am I slow knitter.

Received my "economic stimulus check" and plan to use it soon to help stimulate the bead suppliers economy. Just have to put the order in. Will post about some of my goodies when they arrive.

Came down with a nasty case of food poisoning last week. Whatever you do, do NOT get food poisoning. I don't ever want to be that sick again. I went into the ER Thursday afternoon, was admitted to the hospital late that night and spent the next day and a half there. Ugh. Worse, I was too sick to bead or craft in any way, so I couldn't even take advantage of the time. I spent it staring at a limited number of television channels in between listening to the woman down the hall pray to various religious figures while yelling for a nurse. It was a restful weekend. :P

Really, photos and content of interest are on the horizon.

Thanks for reading, and happy beading!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Non-Bead Content: Bowl-a-rama Fundraiser!

As you may have read in earlier posts, I volunteer with a local euthanasia-list dog and cat rescue organization called RESCUE.

Right now we are in the final weeks of one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, Bowl-a-rama. We have a goal of $45,000, and right now, we're just shy of $20,000. I have a personal goal of $1500, but so far, I am no where near that. But you can help us out by logging onto our website and making a secure and tax deductible donation today!

You can read more about the event over on my dog blog:

Thanks for reading, now get back to beading!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What I've Been Up to Lately!

Time for a little photo update of what I've been working on. No shots of the chain maille yet, they're so darn flashy that I'm having trouble getting good shots. ;D But they'll get a post of their own soon.

I've been dabbling in some writing lately, and its been a nice creative break. I've also gotten back into knitting, working on a lovely purple washcloth. And I started the first square of a large crocheted afghan, but crochet tends to bother my shoulder, so it may take me all year to finish that.

As for beading, I'm working on a European 4 in 1 bracelet (its like butta' on the skin), but I have to work in bits, as my tools are not really meant for extended working. I'm going to ordering some quality ergonomic chain nose pliers soon (waiting that economic stimulus check), and then I'll be able to finish up that pieces.

Here is a shot of some earrings I designed for a bead swap on Swap-Bot. I call them

The theme for the swap was "April Showers." I used three colors of 11/0 seed beads and a 3mm faceted bead (glass or plastic? not sure) in a coordinating color. The stitch I used was two-drop peyote stitch. The pattern is my own design. Interested in the chart for it? Email me at beaded desert (all one word) at YaHoo (dot) com and I'd be happy to send it to you, as part of the Creative Commons License.

Here are some more earrings I made for recent beading swaps:

I've have played with PMC but I haven't been able to take any shots of those. Mostly just little charms. Unfortunately, its getting too hot to be firing pieces outside with my torch. I'm hoping to order a kiln (when I order the tools), but until then, I won't be working with PMC for a while.

Wire seems to be big for me this year though. Here are a few rings I made earlier this year:

The one with the pink beads is a mosaic ring. It's two rings with beads woven between them to create a wide band. It's very uncomfortable to wear. ;D

And last but not least, here is a wire brooch I made for a swap. It has a South West theme to it:

Well, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll be able to get some decent photos of the chain maille pieces and the PMC charms soon.

Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Photo Update Coming Soon!

Yesterday, I was going to take pictures of all that I've been working on. I turned on the camera only to find the memory card was not in there. I'm hunting. I hope to find it when I clean up my worktable today, that's likely where it is (since its a mess....that I cleaned up on Friday morning....but looks worse today than it did then.....). But I promise, photo update is coming soon, and maybe even a post of some interest and substance. ;P

Thanks for reading and happy beading!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Phoenix Bead Expo!!

Next weekend is the Phoenix Bead Expo! Its being held at the Phoenix Convention Center. Friday hours are 11am-6pm; Saturday hours are 10am-6pm and Sunday hours are 11am-5pm.

So grab your checkbook and your credit cards, and go nuts!

I'll be taking two classes at the Expo on Saturday. Both are simple chain maille bracelets. Chain maille is one of those things I just can't seem to figure out. I think my main problem is that I don't have jump rings of the proper size and gauge (and I'm not even sure what the gauge is on most of the jump rings I have...). So I'm hoping that taking a class, and actually have someone show me and step me through it, then I'll know if I like it and if its something I want to do more of.

There are still openings in many of the classes and you can register on-site for the classes. So, if you're in the Phoenix area, you should check it out. Look for me in the Bead Bazaar. I'll be the lady with that crazed-for-beads look in her eyes and an empty wallet. Oh wait, that will be all of us at the expo.....

On a side note, I've been busy since January and have not had a chance to post over here. January was spent cleaning the house in my spare time in preparation for family coming in February. February brought company and horrible nasty cases of the flu (I'm sure you all experience the Plague that was going around earlier this year). In March, I actually was able to start making things again. I've been working on a few things and I plan to take some pictures this weekend. Hopefully I'll get to post them all soon.

Until then, thanks for reading and happy beading!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 Crafty Resolutions!

Its that time of year again, time for those pesky resolutions. But I'm not talking about losing weight/stopping bad habits/starting good habits types of resolutions. No, those are just way to hard to keep. I'm talking about the truly important resolutions - Crafty Resolutions!

Anyone who reads my blog (all what, 4 of you? ;D) has probably read about my crafty resolutions for 2007 and know that I didn't do so well. But that's okay, I'm cool with that. It has helped me to come up with a better list of goals for 2008. I've learned I must be a bit more vague about my goals, less pressure to actually complete something tangible that way. ;P That and I'm only going to list the beading/jewelry making resolutions here. If you want to read some of my other crafty resolutions, go and check out my Crafting Under a Cactus blog (link is off to the right there).

So, here they are, in no particular order. Drum roll please!

Beaded Desert's Beading/Jewelry Making Resolutions for 2008

  • Experiment with PMC and make one small item
  • Spiral rope using one of those great lampwork focal beads I bought off Etsy
  • Experiment with wire rings
  • Learn one complex beading stitch (tubular peyote, herringbone, weaves, etc)
  • Complete one piece using the stitch above
  • Complete one bead crochet piece (now that I know how to do this)
  • Experiment with resin
  • Experiment more with metals (cold connections/soldering, actually finishing something...)
  • Buy more delicas!! (that one shouldn't be too hard, eh?)
  • Experiment more with wire pieces
  • Get a total of 10 pieces listed on my Etsy site by the end of the year
  • Work on a holiday line beginning in August

See, most are pretty vague, lots of experimenting I want to do without the pressure to actually complete a whole piece. We'll see how I do.

Thanks for reading and happy beading!