Saying goodbye to my yarn love fest

Here it is Day 15 of Fusion Bead’s Bead Challenge, and I have to admit that I got derailed late last week.
First, when it came to making something with right-angle weave (RAW) for Thursday, I started out with seed beads and really disliked the results. I made about four or five “squares” and was ready to hurl the piece across the room.  

 Impatient with myself? Never! Always! However, not wanting to admit defeat, I decided to try a RAW bracelet with bi-cone crystals. What do you know, it looked much better. Plus, who doesn’t love a good excuse to buy more/play with crystals. But, I didn’t have enough of the colors I bought. So, I went through my stash, found some cohesive colors and started again—simply picking up colors in a random pattern. I didn’t care for that either. Last night (four days after the original challenge) I started the bracelet for the 4th time and think I’ve finally got the right colors and the right (pseudo) pattern.

   Yay! It might just be a b-day gift for my mom.

Here’s last Wednesday’s project.

  
I did the peyote stitch around a channel bracelet. I was covering up a resin image on the bracelet, so the beadwork doesn’t fit 100% like I wanted it to. Regardless, I love the color and the slight shimmer it has.

Friday’s challenge was to make a piece from which you find inspiration from the clasp. I had some OK ideas and a lot of motivation, but still, the most I accomplished was rubbing down both toggle clasps with Gilder’s Paste. At least they’ll be ready when inspiration strikes.

Saturday we were to invite friends over for a beading gathering. Nope. Wasn’t going to happen, so I turned to Sunday’s challenge. The instructions were to try a new bead weaving technique. Playing fast and loose with my interpretation of the challenges, I made a peyote stitch bezel for a Swarovski rivoli bead. I admit it, I do like it.

  
Inspired by the ease of that, I moved on to creating a peyote stitch bezel for a piece of glass I fused a few weeks ago. I quite like this, too. 

  Having previously made a RAW bezel for a cabachon, I’m not sure why anyone would chose that over the peyote stitch. However, different strokes, etc., etc.

I also found instructions online for a square stitch bezel. That really sounds like something I’d like to make. But how will it work with a rectangular, not round, cabachon?

At some point this weekend I began to wonder if the challenges were starting to distract me from things that I really needed to do. I can honestly say that they have pulled me out of the yarn love fest I was having, which is good. But I also know that I really need to get ready for the market. It’s only seven weeks away, and there’s much to do between then and now. So, from here on out, I’m going to see how I can apply each challenge to tasks that need to be completed. One day next week, I think, we’re to fix something that’s broken. Geez, I have a whole envelope full of such pieces.

Oh, and I was hit by craft “lightning” last week. Stay tuned for photos and details.

Plus, Morgan will be hitting the slopes with his brothers this weekend. That leaves me with two full days for mini mosaics, breaking out the cricut and so much more. Not that I won’t miss him dearly, but here’s to a couple of good play days!

I do love the color green–and elephants

Day 7 of the bead challenge was to design and make something with chain. My bead challenge hack has to redo this bracelet. 

  
When I first made it–a good two or three years ago–I accidentally snipped off the length of leather I needed to make the loop for the button.

  
 The button is too cute to not put it to use, so I’m glad I finally fixed/finished it. 

Today’s challenge was to use two-hole czechmate beads. This is a simple pattern, but I’m charmed by it. I’m eager to make more. Maybe some with five (or more) pieces of memory wire. Please note that I’ve used green in about half of the challenges so far. Such a good color.

  
Tomorrow I’ll make a charm bracelet or bangle. I think that will be good fun and be something to have for sale at the market.

Lastly, my real challenge this week was making this square out of cube beads. 

  
The tricky part was that the instructional photos were a little vague, and the instructions were in Russian. With the help of google translator I learned that some of the necessary materials for making it include “security” and “semiconductors.” One line of instructions read: “… It can ask that he held the form.” Good stuff.

Ok, time to tackle some project that I want to work on just for me. Such a selfish Steph, I know…

Three more days of Fusion Bead’s bead challenge

First, I’m skipping tomorrow’s Downtown Abbey challenge. But, I’ll be readying some reain pieces for Mom, so it’s not like I won’t be making anything.

Anywho, Thursday’s challenge was to use the flat spiral rope technique. Ta da! I’m crazy about this technique and want to make many of these.

   
 Yesterday’s was to incorporate fire polished beads into a project. I made this basic necklace 

  
to accompany this pendant.

  
Today’s challenge was to play with wire. I don’t have the time to do everything I want, but I kind of like this wire-wrapped piece of glass that I fused last weekend.

  
When is the bead embroidery challenge? I’m itching to try some free form bead embroidery. Maybe I’ll make a hedgehog or squid. I also want to make a cube out of cube beads. I’m sure it can’t be that difficult, but the Russian instructions I’ve found are a little … less than ideal.

Oh, and beyond the challenges, I spent a chunk of time painting all of these yesterday.  Now to put them to use.

 

Time to iron my dress for tonight’s gala. Oh how I hope Joni Balter is there. If she is, I’m going to be a total fangirl!!

Craft month–Day 2

Today’s challenge was to make something using my favorite Swarovski colors. 

While not my favorite colors, these blues and yellows go nicely with the pendant.

  
I’d say yesterday’s pink  and green speak to me more than yellow and blue.

But wait, before packing up my crystals, these cubes said, “Why not make one more pair?” And so I did. And you know what, I really do dig the color brown.

  
Bring on day 3’s challenge!

Welcome to National Craft Month

I’ve finally slipped back into jewelry-making mode. It feels good, and I know I’ll be ready for the market when it rolls around.

I think I can thank Fusion Beads for helping me get back in the groove. Last Saturday I took a class on using the Rick’s Bead Loom. 

Looming success!

My first piece is all kinds of messed up, but I tackled a second one, and I’m feeling much better about using the loom. 

So many dropped stitches it’s painful.

I’m also excited to see what cross stitch patterns I’ve been hanging onto for years that I can incorporate into a loomed bracelet.

Anywho, today marks the first day of National Craft Month. Fusion Beads does a 30-day bead challenge every year, and this is the first time I’ve done any of the challenges.  

  
 These earrings have some flaws, for sure. For starters, some white Fireline would have been a little less obvious than the black.

  I can’t say that I’ll do them all (I’m looking at you, Downton Abbey-inspired piece), but it feels good to have met the challenge.

So, I’ll be trying my best to play and also challenge myself. Check back for my progress. And, wish me luck!