Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BIG Beads!

Just a short while ago, Lori Anderson of Pretty Things/Bead Soup Blog Party fame (link to her blog here) held an auction fundraiser, where she offered these stunning beads for sale.  These beads are made by Sarah Moran (Zbeads on Etsy link here).  This type of bead is not my normal style - they are fairly large beads, and quite colorful --- I tend to stay on the earth tone side of the color spectrum, with just a splash of color here and there.

However, I have been an admirer of Sarah's beads for quite some time now. They are absolutely nothing short of spectacular!  The craftsmanship is jaw dropping.  Please zoom on the picture and I know you will agree with me!

Sarah calls these beads "Coral Cocktail", with intense coral, lavender, red, orange, and purple with bases of transparent pale lavender and blush on white. After taking a million photos of these beads, I do not believe there is a camera or photographer out there that can capture the true artistry in the details.

Frankly, stringing one of these stunners on a shoe string would be beautiful! But, alas, all my shoes close with velcro! :)

I knew that I would use one bead at a time - as I said, they are on the large size, appropriately so.  I did what anybody would do with a work of art - I framed it! One night while perusing You-Tube videos on my I-Pad (this is a nightly ritual for me), I found this great tutorial for an earring bead frame by Janice Berkebile at Beaducation (link here).  I thought it would be perfect for a pendant frame.

Janice's tutorial specifies 10 gauge fine silver, as the frame is fused.  I actually fused Argentium silver instead of fine silver - but I also soldered the seam.  Her tutorial also has one more side to it - I kept mine at an even number of 4 sides.

I added two hand textured/cut sterling silver bead caps. One of the design elements for three sides of this bead frame are what Janice entitled "Dew Drops"  - balled headpins, similar to a heat rivet. These can be tricky to make - too much heat and the balled headpin will melt and fuse to the frame - I used Argentium for the heat rivets, as well.  But, luck was on my side...thank goodness!

I recently made a heavy gauge copper bracelet similar in design to this bead frame, so the technique was familiar to me.

The hardest part, for me, was selecting which bead to wire in the center of this frame!

While many thanks go to Sarah Moran for creating these beads, I also want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to Lori Anderson for selflessly selling these beads for another artist in need.

One bead down...and six to go! :)  I am hoping I can come up with different ways to highlight these absolutely exquisite beads!

Thanks for stopping by today!!


Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall is here!

by Patti Vanderbloemen

First off, thanks to the artists who left comments on my last blog post regarding questions by potential customers on my pricing - I very appreciate your taking the time!

I am simply overjoyed in how the weather has been in Virginia this past week!  When I woke up this morning, it was 45 degrees in my neck of the woods...heaven!  Though, it will warm nicely to the low 70's or so, I will take it!  Other than the fact that I broke a tooth over the weekend and had to make a quick visit to the dentist this morning to affirm the fact that my teeth are failing yet again (there is more crown in my future, next week), it will be a good week!

Last week, I revisited my first love of wire wrapping lampwork beads.  Zoom in on the picture, and you will see why I am so in awe of the talents of lamp work artists:

Beads by Judith Billig
Judith appropriately named these beads Sediment Stones.  Reminiscent of a slice of the earth's crust, I say.  Just loving the pops of orange and green!

Photo Source - Merriam Webster

I put a lot of thought into the chain links I made.  It just seemed appropriate to add an Infinity link to a bead that resembled something as old as the earth - lasting.

I recently purchased an online class from Leslie Kail Villarreal (here is a link to her website).  The class is for making a boho-style saddle ring.  Well, I am awaiting 2 more supplies before I can attempt this style of ring (so excited to at least attempt!)  In the meantime, I did make this one.

In my last post, I shared a two-toned metal pendant I made, with a brass "collar" cut to fit on top of the silver bezel.  This time, I used the same technique, but stuck with just silver.  I do love the banding in this green malachite.

This is a wide band ring, with a tiny little button soldered to the bottom.  I first flattened the ball of silver, then added a hand stamp.  I just love this little button!  I have seen it on many other rings "out there", and thought I would give it a try.

The folks at Miracle Horse Rescue  are having a fundraiser to raise $$ for hay and all of the other upkeep required for the horses.  It seems non-profits all over the place are really struggling these days, as the economy continues to stress everyone.  But, if you want a cool sweatshirt to keep you toasty warm in the coming months, please consider purchasing one from their fundraiser (just click on the picture to be directed to the Booster).  Thank you!

Onward, they say.  Time to get off my chair and get something done!

As always, thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!