Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  I hope that it is filled with lots of wonder, joy, excitement and quiet moments with family. 

Nancy

Friday, December 18, 2009

Autumn Whimsy - Use the Muse III

This was my entry for the Use the Muse III contest.  It was my first venture into freeform peyote.  I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to just flow with the freeform.   I am very much guided by structure. I was really happy with how it turned out.

If you haven't tried entering a beading contest before, I would recommend it highly.  Just to be "challenged" to try something new is a wonderful experience.  To me that is the winning part of entering.  You can find the details here for the next contest and see all the wonderful entries and winners from this contest here.






Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creativity

How has expressing your creativity through beading enriched your life?

I think that for me beading is a great outlet for creativity. I have dabbled in many medias over the years but what has really been exciting to me about beading is that it is a wearable art. It is something that lends itself to creating because there are so many options available, whether it be experimenting with different stitches or with a new type of bead. The possibilities are just endless. When I want to try something new, it doesn’t take long to find something to inspire and challenge me. That is also one of the things that I like about participating in contests, like Use the Muse. You are given materials to use that may not be something that you would have chosen to work with and that expands you in the challenge.

I would encourage you that the next time you see a beading challenge contest that catches your interest to just give it a try. While winning is nice, sometimes the best part is just being stretched to try something new!!

Have a wonderful day today!

PS. Don't forget to check out the BIG REVEAL tomorrow at The Beader's Muse.  I can't wait to see all the entries in this third contest!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Round and Around Bracelet

I came up with this bracelet yesterday morning as we were watching the Macy’s parade.  It is another that can be worked up in just a few hours.  It uses just a small quantity of beads. The first one uses natural jasper beads and Matte Khaki Ab seed beads.  The second is with Bright Gold Pearls and Rose Gold Luster seed beads.  I have another colorway on my table to do today with a cream colored druk and gold seed bead.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We just returned this past weekend from Virginia where we celebrated my husband's grandmother's 100th birthday.  She is such a wonderful woman.  She still has her wit intact and had us in stitches!  I have been so blessed in my life, even while we are going through a somewhat difficult period, I am still so very blessed.  I think that sometimes going through a rough period helps you to focus on what is really important in your life and it is also very easy during those times to remember all the ways that you are blessed.  Take some time durirng the next few days and think about all the things that you appreciate about your life, both big and small.  May God bless you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nancy

Black Friday

Since this is my first year with lulu, this is something that I was unaware of and thought I would share it with you.  You can go to the lulu blog on Friday and they will be posting various coupon codes.  So if you have been thinking about any patterns, this would be a great way to save some dollars.

You can read more about it here. (http://lulublog.com/2009/11/24/black-friday-sales-preview/)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clara's Filigree

This is a very delicate and lacy necklace. I love to wear it with jeans or when I am going out. It just lends itself well to any occasion. I think that it is my new favorite. I just love the sky blue and the pearls together!  There is just something so classic about that combination of colors.
Hope you have a great day today!  Thanks for stopping by.






NLP Bead Design - Price Increase

I want to make those of you that enjoy my patterns and support me by buying them aware that Lulu has raised their costs to those who have websites with them.  I am not sure if this will affect patterns already on the site or just new patterns that are added.  I just wanted to let you know that the increase is due to additional fees from Lulu.  Thank you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Artist Profile on Blisstree






Cyndi Lavin was kind enough to publish an artist profile on me.  I am very grateful to her for the opportunity to be interviewed on her blog.  She has lots of great artist profiles on her blog as well as a lot of information on techniques and contests.  Check it out here!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Organizing

I have been in the process of organizing my bead stash since earlier this fall.  I had these grand plans about how I would wait and share the wonderfully organized collection with you.  I have come to realize that it is going to take me awhile to finish the project because life keeps interfereing with finishing and of course organizing the beads makes me want to "play" with the beads!

So I decided that I would share with you some of the components of my organizing that I am really enjoying and are working for me.  I have a very small space that I use for my beading.  I have a 4'x2' table that sort of sits between our living room and dining room. I have an iris cart that right now is catching the odds and ends that I haven't put into their permanent home yet.  The other elements to my beading area I will share below.

The first is this cart.  I believe that it was designed for scrapbookers but I LOVE that the drawers have a lid and come completely out.

As you can see from the labels, I have my seed beads in here sorted by size and a project drawer for works in progress.  I have a couple empties at the moment that I am using for temporary storage until I get the rest of my beads sorted and stored.  I invested in many flip top style storage boxes to put my beads in.  I like them because it makes it easy to see what I have and to compare colors when starting a project.

I love that when I am working on a project I can pull out the size bead I need and see all my choices.  I have the drawers arranged in rainbow order (roygbiv).  I cut up empty cereal boxes to make strips to keep the fliptops from sliding.  I also used some empty boxes to help fill in the spaces.  I am sure there won't be space in here much longer with what I have out currently that I am using.  This is what one of the drawers looks like when open on the table.

















Another of my main storage units is a multi-drawer unit like this.


I have the drawers labeled as to the size and type of beads.  I also use this for storing my findings, clasps and thread.

Inside the drawers I eventually hope to have everything in fliptops but right now the drawers are a combination of bags and fliptops.


This is one of the drawers.  Inside the fliptop along with the bead, I cut or peel the tag from the original bag and place it inside.  That way I have what the color is, the ordering number and where I bought the beads from.



Because my collection of fire polish and Swarovski crystals has gotten so that it won't fit in one of the above drawers, I bought a 3 drawer unit that sits on my work table.  The drawers are organized the same as the other set of drawers.



I have found it so much easier to "see" what I have and find what I am looking for since I reorganized my beads this way.  This system really works for me and the space that I have (at least until I outgrow it, :-))

I hope that you have found some tips in here that will help you get organized and spend less time looking for those beads and more time beading with them!!

Maricot Necklace

I don't know how things are in your household but we are going through a bout with the flu.  My older son had it first and now the younger one has the flu with broncitis.  I have been fighting a head cold that seems to take me out about once a week but never quite leaves my system.  Needless to say I have had some down time on my hands.

I was watching during one of those downtimes the movie "Indiscreet" with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. How I love watching movies from this era.  I was enamoured with a necklace that Ingrid Bergman wore in one of the party/dinner scenes.  This necklace is my tribute to it.

I had won a contest on Susan Mandel's site for a giveaway she was having.   I won some fabulous charlottes in wisteria and meadow green.  Sue and I had corresponded back and forth and she also gifted me with some fabulous Marcasite Silver charlottes as well.  I have been wanting to try working with charlottes and this necklace seemed like a great opportunity for them.  I love the way that they sparkle and catch the light.

So without further ado.....  here is my tribute to Ingrid Bergman in Indiscreet!


















Here is a second colorway using the wisteria charlottes.


Tamar Bracelet

I love this double layer bracelet.  It has such a substantial feel on your wrist when worn.  It utilizes the chevron stitch and some beadweaving.  There is a richness about the gold, peach and brown combined.  This is one of those bracelets that would look great in different color combinations.  I hope that you enjoyed seeing it.

Thanks.  Nancy


Monday, October 19, 2009

Verity - Alternate color #1 with drop

This is the second colorway that I did.  Actually I did it first and added the drop as I was working but I didn't have the right crystal for the center so I had to wait.  I liked the chain so much that I made the second one in fall colors just because.

The colors for this one are 4 mm Creamy Pink pearls, 3 mm Light Rose Sw. bicones and 15/0 Miyuki Dusty Rose.

I am going to write up the directions for the drop by itself so that if you want to add it you can.  The directions will not have the instructions for Verity but will be how to add it.  I hope to have it ready next week. 

Have a great rest of the day.




Sunday, October 18, 2009

Verity

I have been working on some quick to make necklace (again with Christmas gifts in mind and limited time on my part :-)).  This is one of those necklaces.  It works up in a few hours.  It combines right angle weave and net weave for an elegant necklace.  I have a second one made that I need to take a picture of.  I really like the autumn colors in this one.  It goes well with so many colors.  I hope you liked seeing it too!

Have a great day.  Nancy


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I know this is normal for some of you but here.....

snow in the middle of October is not.  Usually it is early if we have snow mid-November.  I love snow but this is too early.  The forecast is for 1-4" by tomorrow.  It is hard to believe because the ground is still warm here in Northeast PA.  It is so strange to see the beautiful fall leaves with snow on them.  I was really surprised that when I got home we actually had some accumulation on the back deck and the ground.  I guess we'll have to see if it actually accumulates to something measurable.  While it is certainly pretty, it is way too early for snow!!  I took some really quick pictures to show you the snow!

   

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thyrza's Charm - Alternates

I mentioned in my previous post that I had two other colorways to share with you.  I was able to take some pictures today.  The last photo shows all three colorways together.
 
Chocolate: 4 mm Dark Brown Round Pearl,  4 mm Pearl Cream fire polish, 3 mm Swarovski Rosewater Opal 2xab bicone, 15/0 Miyuki Fancy Rose Gold

Green: 4 mm Mistletoe Round Pearl, 4 mm Dipped Decor Emerald, 3 mm Swarovski Khaki bicone, 15/0 (top) Miyuki Metalic Rainbow Green, (bottom) Gold Luster Green




















Steamtown

My brother and his family were up this past weekend. We had a wonderful time together. Sunday afternoon we drove to Scranton to Steamtown.

I have a never-ending love affair with steam engines. While we were there, they were bringing in the engines that had been out for excursions into the engine sheds. There is a turntable that is in the middle of the complex and you can watch the trains chug onto the turntable, spin around and then go into the shed. It was just wonderful to watch the engines.

It was funny while the one engine was turning, the turntable came to a stop and the guys had to jump down into the pit to shoo away some birds that had landed there before they could turn the train the rest of the way.

I am learning about post-processing of digital photos and was playing with one of the images that I took this weekend. I wanted to share it with you.

Have a great day today!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thyrza's Charm

Another new bracelet off my beading table. I really liked the Bangly Bracelet and wanted to create another style of bracelet like it. Thyrza's Charm is the result. It is very sparkly to wear. I have two more colorways to share once I can take pictures of them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

1, 2, 3.. 4, 5, 6, ..... ladybugs came to the Ladybug Picnic

Does anyone remember this catchy little tune by Don Hadley? It has been playing in my mind since I sat down to play with these darling ladybug and flower beads. I haven't made any peyote beads in awhile and someone mentioned to me about making a ladybug bracelet. So I sat down with some graph paper and came up with a picnic blanket pattern. I love how colorful this bracelet is. Quite often I bead in a monochromatic palette, this one just has lots of fun colors incorporated. I hope you enjoyed seeing my "ladybug picnic".

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A winning entry

After much encouragement from a friend and being directly handed the entry book/application, I entered my "Trudy's Delight" design in our local county fair this year. This is the first time that I have entered anything in the contest. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my necklace won first place!! My niece whom the necklace is named for will be so excited when she hears!! One of the things that I especially like about this piece is that the beadwork resembles smocking, very dainty and delicate.

Angaktell Bracelet

This bracelet is called "Angaktell". It is another fun and easy bracelet to make that works up in just a few hours. I love how the dark pink beads float over the lower base. This is another bracelet that I can see making up for last minute gifts!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bead Trends Sept 2009

I was thrilled to be chosen to be in the September issue of Bead Trends. This is a pattern that I have taught at my local bead store (Garden of Beadin). One of the girls and I collaborated on the colors for her piece (Thanks, Wendy). I loved the way that the colors worked together and rewrote the pattern for those colors.



Friday, August 14, 2009

Playing with colors

I have a couple designs that I am going to be teaching this fall at the Garden of Beadin' in Bartonsville, PA this fall. I wanted to do a second piece for each in a different colorway. The first one is for the Dresden Twist pattern (see original here). The second for the Peaceful Dreams pattern (see original below post). It is amazing how different a necklace can look using different colors. That is one of my favorite things about beading. People can take the same pattern, use different colors and come up with lovely combinations!





Use the Muse II - Entries

Now that the contest entries have been posted here. I wanted to show you my entries. I made the necklace first. When I saw the silk ribbon, I knew exactly that I wanted to create a beaded wrapped rope with it. I created a spiral chain using pearls, cubes and Swarovski's as accents. I wrapped the ribbon around the spiral. I then beaded a single strand and reverse wrapped the spiral and the ribbon. I bezeled the pendant and added more crystals and pearls to it. It hanges from a peyote bail that was embellished. In retrospect, I made the rope too short. I wanted the pendant to hang higher on my neck but I think that it would look better with a longer rope (which I am in the process of making). I like wearing the rope by itself and will wait until the longer rope is done to wear the pendant with.



As I looked at the pendant on the necklace, an idea popped into my head for a cuff bracelet. So I decided to enter again and see how it all came out. Since I had ordered additional beads for the necklace, it gave me a head start while I waited for the "kit" to arrive. I used a 2 drop peyote base with straps to attach the pendant. I added lots of crystals and pearls. I wasn't quite satisfied with the way it looked so I created a "rope" edging along both sides. I finished it off with a pewter button that I had in my stash. This is one piece that I can see wearing often. It is very comfortable.



I hope that you enjoyed seeing my entries. I really enjoyed the challenge of this contest. I am already looking forward to the next one.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Upsy Daisy

A few months ago, I had to have my gall bladder removed. I needed to get some pants that didn't sit where my incisions were until they were healed. I got this really cute black and white outfit that had embroidered daisies on the bottom of the crop pants. When I got home, I realized that I didn't have any jewelry that went with it, so of course I had to make something!! This is what I came up with!! This past weekend we were traveling to a family reunion and I made the second one in the rose colors. The white daisy goes with so many things that it gets worn a lot! I hope you liked seeing them.

Nancy

Friday, August 7, 2009

Franklin Institute

A couple weeks ago my sister and her family came up for a visit. The cousins always look forward to being together and have so much fun hanging out. We all headed to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia for the day. Here are a couple pictures from our trip. The first is my family on the steps outside. They have an old training aircraft in the building that you can climb in the cockpit of. The boys really enjoyed that. Todd took both boys into the flight simulator that they have there. Because the token machine was broken, they got to ride it for free. They thought it was pretty cool to fly around in it. Lastly is a picture of the statue they have of Benjamin Franklin. It is in an immense beautiful room. They have quotes of his that play on four screens around the room that change. We always love it when family comes to visit and are so sad when they have to head home. We immediately start to look forward to the next time we see them.




Thursday, July 30, 2009

Something old, something new

I am working on adding a couple of my older patterns to the lulu store. I also hope to have a few new ones to add in the upcoming week. I will be in the process of trying to provide better pictures for the site so that it is easier to see how the pattern is. This isn't easy as I am limited to what lulu will allow for a cover. If there is a preview available, click on the button below and to the right and it will open in another window and provide a larger copy of the cover. I will be slowing working at adding previews to more of the patterns as well. Here is a peek at some of the patterns I have added and will be adding over the next week or so.

The first two shown here
are remembrance bracelets based on Scriptures. They are to remind you of key truths found there.


















The last two are an older pattern, Esther's Garden Bracelet and a new one, Sweet Petunia.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vintage Entangle

This bracelet incorporates an odd-count peyote base that is embellished with "cording" and crystals. I did the cording on another project you will see soon and I liked it so much that I had to play with it some more. I have some 15/0's on order so that I can play with this pattern some more. It is very sleek and supple when worn.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heard at the beach

Yesterday the boys and I went to the beach with friends. The boys were having fun catching fish in the pond with a net and putting them in a bucket of water from the pond or just looking at them then letting them go. They had caught a couple of small fish and brought them to show me and my friend sitting up on the beach. Unfortunately one of the little fish died and one of the boys said very seriously "I guess he is dead, unless he is faking it."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bangly Bracelet

Can I just say that I love this pattern! I can't seem to stop making them. It is a very versatile pattern. The bracelet works up in just a couple hours. I can see making these for my son's teachers for Christmas this year. Hope you liked seeing them!