And they’re off…

The flyers and postcards for our December trunk show went out today. I was able to scratch those and several other items off my to-do list. This seems to be one of those times when more gets added to the list each day than gets marked off! I’m just hoping there are lots of people out there who have building up their jewelry collection on their to-do lists!!

I have six necklaces and 4 bracelets I must finish before leaving in ten days – I just realized that’s one a day. Now I just have to work them in around pricing my pieces, printing my business cards, designing a 12-page newsletter for my daughter’s middle- and high-school classes, and, oh yes, there’s the turkey in the refrigerator waiting to be brined!

But still – our first show – exciting times!


Same Stitch, New Slant

I love cool variations of herringbone, and Tina Koyama offers a great one in her design, Beautiful Bargello, also from the pages of Beadwork's Favorite Stitches. (I’m definitely getting my money’s worth from this magazine.)

I had just finished this first version when I downloaded Margie Deeb’s Instant Holiday Glam: Color Palettes of Splendor, the first line of which reads, “Kiss bright red and green good-bye.” Oh well, I wasn’t really going for glamour with this sterling silver seed bead and flame red bugle bracelet. It’s a grab your bag and head to the mall to start Christmas shopping kind of accessory.

My second version does have some hallmarks of glamour with its gunmetal and starshine seed beads and jet crystal button. I’ll pair it with the short rivoli earrings when I want an elegant, sophisticated look, and with the aptly named paradise earrings when the occasion calls for true sparkle and glitz!


Sparkling Waves

Yearning for a little peyote, I chose this Shelley Nybakke design from the current edition of Beadwork. Last year was all about peyote, but this year I’ve gravitated toward herringbone and netting. Also, I’d never worked with memory wire and was curious.

The base row is made with size 6 silver metal seed beads, followed by three-cut size 8’s in a warm bronze and topped with a 3mm fire-polished bead in luminous blue/honey. Silver, bronze and gold in one bracelet? On your arm, its five turns are shiny, highly reflective, just dazzling. Shelley’s designs are always brilliant!


Squaring the Circle

I picked up Beadwork’s Favorite Bead Stitches because I wanted to master a new technique – square stitch – and the cover featured Kate McKinnon’s fabulous Modern Art Cuff, which employs both square and RAW. Flipping through the square stitch projects, I decided to start with Jamie Hogsett’s Starry, Starry Night necklace because if you’re going to learn something square, why not attempt it in the round? And also because I was looking for a project to use a newly acquired glass pendant in lush plums and corals.

The beaded links work up just like flat square stitch, with the addition of occasional increases to adjust for the larger circumference in each successive round. I used lots of thread passes to give the round links some stiffness. I didn’t want any distortion, anticipating that they would be pulled a bit by the heft of the pendant.

I like the airy feel of this winter necklace, and would use this technique again if I needed a custom closure for a bracelet and couldn’t find a button in the exact color scheme I needed. Love these examples I found by Dustin Wedekind.